LAHORE, Pakistan — Outrage over a social media post of Bible verses resulted in one Christian being charged with blasphemy and dozens of Christian families fleeing their village.
Morning Star News reports that Haroon Shahzad posted 1 Corinthians 10:18–21 on Facebook on June 29 at the beginning of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha. The festival involves killing an animal and sharing the meat in remembrance of God providing a lamb for Abraham to sacrifice instead of his son.
One source said Muslims were offended and on June 30, mosque leaders called for a protest in Chak 49 Shumaali village in Punjab province.
Upon hearing that people from other places planned to join the protest, Sargodha District police went to the village to protect as many as 300 Christian families living there. While police presence did deter attacks, most of the Christians fled, fearing the situation might escalate.
Police charged Shahzad under Sections 295-A (outraging religious feelings by insulting religious beliefs) and 298 (hurting religious sentiments).
Although Shahzad was granted pre-arrest bail, he was taken into “protective custody” July 4, an attorney told Morning Star.
The case allegedly stems from a grudge that one Muslim had against Shahzad.
Pakistan is No. 7 on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.