LAHORE, Pakistan — A judge in Pakistan recently changed a Christian’s life sentence on a blasphemy allegation to a death sentence, reports Morning Star News.
On Jan. 3, Rawalpindi Additional Sessions Judge Sahibzada Naqeeb sentenced Zafar Bhatti, 56, to death. Bhatti has been in jail since 2012, accused of sending text messages defaming Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, the report states. Bhatti received the life sentence in 2017.
In Pakistan, a life sentence is 25 years. The News says Bhatti is considered Pakistan’s longest-serving blasphemy convict.
On Jan. 6, the Supreme Court granted bail to Nadeem Samson, a Christian accused of posting blasphemous content on Facebook in 2017. Morning Star News, quoting Samson’s attorney, says this is the first time Pakistan’s top court has granted bail to someone accused under the country’s blasphemy laws.
In Pakistan, false accusations of blasphemy are common, often motivated by personal vendetta or religious hatred, according to Morning Star News.
Pakistan was No. 5 on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.
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