Thursday, March 02, 2006

Remember Amjad Masih

The abuse of Pakistan's Blasphemy Laws has been well established. Shortly after he took power, President Pervez Musharraf had called for reform of these laws but withdrew his suggestion after it was met with threats of demonstrations by several Islamic organizations. Because these laws require only the testimony of one Muslim against another person, they have frequently been misused to settle personal disputes and persecute minorities. The following is a prime example:

Seven years ago on February 5, 1999, Amjad Masih was arrested on vagrancy charges in the Pakistani town of Jhang. While in police custody, he was accused of burning the Quran (Koran) and charged under Pakistan's blasphemy law. Introduced in 1985, the Pakistan penal code states in Section 295B: "Defiling of the Holy Koran. Whoever willfully defiles, damages or desecrates a copy of the Holy Koran or of an extract therefrom or uses it in any derogatory manner or for any unlawful purpose shall be punishable with imprisonment for life."

Amjad insists the police framed him for refusing to pay a bribe. During August 2003, a high court hearing in Lahore endorsed a life sentence for him. While in prison, Amjad has suffered from depression and malaria. He and his wife Kusar have three sons and one daughter. During Lent last year, the two older sons prayed and fasted for their father's release.

May I encourage you to write a letter to Amjad Masih? Let him know that he has not been forgotten after all of these years in prison. Go to, a website sponsored by both VOM Canada and VOM USA. There you will find step-by-step directions on how to write a letter to him in his own language.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for reminding me of Amjad Masih, I will continue to pray for him & for his family.

Let us not forget Romans8:28, 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose'.

Let us not forget our brothers and sisters in prison but may we continue to pray for them