SANTA ANA, Calif. (Oct. 29, 2012) – The Sept. 17 arrest of a 14-year-old Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws drew huge international condemnation due to her young age, questions about her mental capacity and allegations she had been framed by a local imam.
Even though Rimsha was granted bail and released on Sept. 7, her case remains unresolved. Her next court appearance has been extended to Nov. 14.
“Despite testimony that Rimsha was set up on charges of blasphemy, her case is still being reviewed by the juvenile court in Pakistan and again delayed until a new hearing on Nov. 14,” says Open Doors USA Advocacy Director Lindsay Vessey. “In the meantime, the imam who allegedly planted burned pages of the Quran in her bag was released on bail.
“We are still asking the Pakistani authorities to drop all charges against Rimsha and to ensure safety for her and her family. Open Doors is grateful that the Pakistani government is keeping them in an undisclosed location for the time being.
“But less we think Rimsha’s case will turn things around for the Christian minority in Pakistan, I recently heard of another Christian teenager whom appears to have been framed for blasphemy. These are perilous times for Pakistan’s Christians and we need to be lifting them up in prayer and also contacting the Pakistani government on Rimsha’s behalf.”
Vessey says the on-going Open Doors USA campaign could make a difference for Rimsha. Christians can help her case by contacting Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, asking Pakistan to protect Rimsha and ensure justice for her.
To send an email to Ambassador Rehman, visit http://advocacy.opendoorsusa.org/. Included on the site is a sample letter. Over 4,000 people have sent emails to Rehman through the Open Doors campaign so far.
An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world’s most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.
(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email [email protected])