LAHORE, Pakistan — After a Pakistani court overturned the blasphemy conviction of a Christian couple on June 3, Islamic extremists called for the pair, an attorney and two judges to be beheaded.
Lahore High Court overturned the 2014 conviction of Shagufta Kausar, mother of four, and her husband Shafqat Emmanuel, a paraplegic. The couple were accused of sending text messages allegedly disrespectful of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
Supreme Court attorney Saif Ul Malook said extremists are calling for the beheading of him, the couple and the two judges who ordered the couple’s release from prison.
For six years, the high court had repeatedly adjourned the couple’s appeal of their death sentences. The European Union Parliament passed a resolution in April to review Pakistan’s GSP+ status and mentioned the couple’s case.
The U.S. Department of State’s 2020 International Religious Freedom Report reveals that at least 35 people received death sentences last year under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
Pakistan is No. 5 on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.
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