Pakistan (MNN) – We’ve been following the blasphemy case of Ahmed, a highly influential co-laborer of the Gospel who’s strategically placed in Pakistan. The third hearing in his trial was postponed because of rioting in the courtroom. Now, the judge has rescheduled it for this Friday, November 17.
New Hearing in Blasphemy Case
Mosque Lahore in Pakistan. (Photo Courtesy FMI for MNN use)
FMI’s Bruce Allen shares that the judge handling Ahmed’s case has been very sympathetic to Ahmed’s safety and security situation. In combination with hearing the case in his private chamber, the judge has also agreed to not have Ahmed physically present during the court proceedings because of safety concerns.
“[The judge] has already advised the prosecution that if they do not present any evidence, that they have not been able to do so in hearing number one or hearing number two, he’s going to dismiss the case,” FMI’s Bruce Allen shares.
The judge has also instructed the prosecution that it can only have the prosecutor, one accuser, and the prosecutor’s assistant present at the hearing. However, this judge’s fairness and his lawfulness in the case has angered the prosecutors to the point that they’ve threatened the judge’s life. These threats have not made the judge waver on hearing this case.
But even if the case is dismissed, it’s not going to stop the accusers from attempting to destroy Ahmed’s life. Since the judge will not bend to their will, last Friday the accusers attained a fatwa against Ahmed.
A fatwa is an Islamic legal pronouncement pertaining to a specific situation that is issued by an expert in religious law. Anyone who kills under the fatwa’s command is not held accountable for their actions. This means people could burn down Ahmed’s home, and in the process kill his family, and there would not justice for those deaths. The fatwa has already been distributed throughout Pakistan.
“The fatwa says ‘Renounce this apostate.’ They list his name and residence, and they say, ‘He’s misleading Muslim youths. He’s bringing them to Christianity. He’s insulting our prophet.’ And then the end of the fatwa gives instructions to society at large, wherever you find him, kill him. And this is how you will embrace paradise.’”
The fatwa also includes verses from the Koran instructing Muslims to kill infidels and the importance of killing them. What this means is that even if Ahmed’s case is dismissed and he is legally cleared, most of the people in Pakistan are looking to kill him.
Yet, despite these threats to his life, Ahmed isn’t concerned for himself, but for the people of Pakistan.
Ahmed’s Heart for God
“He wants them to come to know the truth of Jesus Christ,” Allen explains. “Number two, he’s concerned for his family. He’s separated from them right now and yet this fatwa lists the section of the city where they live. And so, he’s concerned for their safety and he’s not there.”
Pakistani Flag. (Photo Courtesy of FMI)
In a recent conversation, Ahmed told Allen that he’s joyful and feels blessed that God’s chosen him to face this persecution.
Not because persecution is fun, but because it allows him to be a source of testimony for others. Ahmed also has faith that God will deliver him from the hands of his accusers.
“Regardless of what happens, [Ahmed] says, ‘My remaining days, whether they are weeks, months, years; I’m going to focus on living well and living for Christ,’” Allen says. “It’s very much that sentiment that apostle Paul had of ‘for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’”
How to Help
Pray for Ahmed’s safety and acquittal. Also, pray for his family’s safety and their encouragement. Pray for the judge hearing this case and a calm atmosphere at the court on Friday. Please also be praying on Friday for Ahmed’s acquittal during this third hearing. Pray also for ministry in Pakistan. And please, praise God for the fair treatment Ahmed has received from both the judge and his lawyer.
Ahmed’s legal fees will range from $5,000-$8,000 USD. Will you consider tangibly helping Ahmed and his family by donating to a fund set up by FMI to help pay for these fees?
*Next week Allen will be traveling to Asia. Please pray for safe travels to and from Asia as well as during his stay.