Pakistani Christian couple sentenced to death on blasphemy charges
April 08, 2014
A Pakistani Christian couple has been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges, according to multiple media reports.
Emmanuel and Shagufta Shafqat Kausar of Gojra were found guilty of sending text messages to an imam in which they insulted Islam and Muhammad. The Fides news agency reported that “the two, being illiterate, were not able to send any messages in English.”
The couple’s conviction follows the March death sentence of another Pakistani Christian, Sawan Masih, on blasphemy charges.
“Cases like these are common and cause great suffering,” said Father Aloysius Roy, Superior of the Pakistani province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. “Christians keep a low profile, because life is full of difficulties and dangers, and for us the first commandment is to survive. Christians are afraid, and they move with extreme caution.”
Paul Bhatti, a prominent Pakistani lay Catholic, told AsiaNews that the couple will appeal the ruling, and Bishop Rufin Anthony of Islamabad-Rawalpindi has declared a day of prayer and fasting for “all those on death row.”
- Pakistani couple get death sentences for blasphemy (BBC)
- Paul Bhatti: "We want concrete answers against unjust death sentences for blasphemy" (AsiaNews.it)
- Legal battle after the death sentence of a Christian couple for blasphemous SMS (Fides)
- Pakistani Christian sentenced to death on blasphemy charges (CWN, 3/31)
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