For information about the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan, see here.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, see here.

“Christian in Pakistan Loses Job, Home after False Charge,” Morning Star News, January 12, 2024:

LAHORE, Pakistan (Christian Daily International–Morning Star News) – Acquittal after a false blasphemy charge has not kept a Christian widow in Pakistan from being driven from her job and village amid threats to her life.

Musarrat Bibi was acquitted along with Muslim gardener Muhammad Sarmad on Dec. 8 after they were charged with desecrating pages of the Quran while cleaning a storeroom at the Government Girls Higher Secondary School in 66-EB village, Arifwala tehsil of Pakpattan District, Punjab Province, on April 15.

Bibi said she was suspended from work after she was taken into police custody, but despite her release on bail after nearly a month, the school administration refused to restore her job.

“When I returned home after bail on May 12, I began receiving threats from unknown persons that even though the court had freed me from jail, I was still guilty of committing blasphemy and they will not spare my life,” the 45-year-old widow told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News by telephone from an undisclosed location. “I had no other option but to flee the village with my daughter. It’s been nearly seven months now that we are on the run, constantly changing our locations to avoid being traced.”

Bibi said it was impossible to get her job back due to the stigma and risk attached to blasphemy accusations in the 96-percent Muslim country.

“But I’m praying and hoping that God will make a way for me to get the same job in some other district,” she said. “The false accusation has ruined my life, forcing me to seek refuge in different locations since the time I was freed on post-arrest bail on May 12.”

She had worked as an office worker at the school and also operated a private shop there to supplement her income.

“I was given the government job in place of my deceased husband, Barkat Masih, who was a teacher,” said the mother of two married daughters an eighth-grade student who has been forced to drop out of school due to the case. “Everything was going on well till the time I was implicated in this fake case.”

The impoverished Bibi said she was implicated in the case by a Muslim teacher named Muneera who bore a grudge against her after she refused to clean a toilet some days before the alleged incident….

Pakistan ranked seventh on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of the most difficult places to be a Christian, up from eighth the previous year.