Nehemiah*, an FMI ministry leader in Pakistan, was beaten by police, but has been released and is now free. Read more about Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws here. Nehemiah has run afoul of these laws before.
Bruce Allen of FMI explains, “A few years ago he was charged falsely with blasphemy speaking against the Quran [and] Muhammad. This carries a death penalty. And amazingly, he was acquitted by the courts because they said, ‘You know, there’s a lack of evidence here.’ But that still did not deter his accusers. They wanted him dead.”
“So they’ve issued two fatwas against him through a mosque and madrassa that essentially say, ‘Wherever you find him, hunt him down and killed him.’ It gives impunity to any Pakistani citizen in the country to actually murder Nehemiah.”
Allen has just returned from an FMI trip to Pakistan, and Nehemiah stayed behind to finish filming a video. Then, he was summoned to a police station for a meeting. Nehemiah suspected the meeting was false, but he knew the police could prevent him from leaving the country, so he went anyway.
His lawyer went with him, but the police separated the two. Allen says, “During that time he was tortured, beaten with a rubber pipe across the back. I’ve seen photos of the welts, the bruises, the bleeding from his back. They were trying to get him to confess to blasphemy, which he did not commit. And to use that recording of such a confession as evidence then to kill him.”
Nehemiah confessed to being a follower of Jesus Christ during the beatings, but not to any blasphemy charges. Finally, his lawyer got the courts involved and retrieved him safely. Nehemiah was hurt, of course, but described himself as “stronger in spirit.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller