Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Incredible twist in Rimsha case; Youcef's trial 9/8

Rimsha Masih (ASSIST)
UPDATE 9/7/2012: Rimsha received bail today and has been released into protective custody along with her family.

PAKISTAN – There has been an extraordinary development in the case of Rimsha Masih, the Pakistani Christian girl with Down Syndrome who was arrested Aug 16 and accused of blasphemy for burning a Qu’ran.

The Pakistani imam who demanded that police arrest Rimsha has himself been arrested, accused of planting pages of the Quran among burnt pages in her bag. 

In an incredible twist in the case, prosecutors say Imam Khalid Chishti will himself face charges of blasphemy for allegedly telling a witness, after tampering with the girl's bag, that this was a “way of getting rid of Christians.” 

Imam Khalid Chishti being led to court
Young Rimsha is still detained at a maximum-security prison and her family is in protective custody for safety from lynch mobs. Imam Chishti appeared in the Islamabad court with a white blindfold and shackled hands. 

Investigators said that “by putting these pages in the ashes he also committed desecration of the Holy Quran and he is being charged with blasphemy.” 

The girl’s attorney called for Rimsha to “be acquitted immediately” and released, but she and her family will need full protection indefinitely. Pray for Rimsha and her family’s safety. Praise God for the great reversal of these events. Ask the Lord to bring an end to Pakistan’s wicked blasphemy law. Source: ASSIST News

Nadarkhani Family
IRAN This Saturday, Sept 8, at 9am Iranian time, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani will be tried in court again on new charges that may be related to crimes against national security.  

Pastor Nadarkhani has spent over 1,000 days in prison since he was sentenced to death for apostasy in 2010.  He has been in court several times and been given the opportunity to recant his faith to see the death sentence lifted.  Each time, he refused.  

International pressure on his case has so far helped to delay his execution. Now Iranian authorities are putting him on trial again.  The exact charges have not been released, but the judges reportedly received instructions to try Pastor Nadarkhani on new, trumped up charges in order to make his death sentence appear more acceptable. 

If accurate, the  latest information is even more worrying.  Last Friday, Mohabat News reported that Iran’s new penal code allows anyone committing a national or international security crime to be charged with "spreading corruption on earth,” a crime which could carry the death penalty. 

Believers worldwide will join in prayer for Pastor Youcef for 24 hours on Sept. 7-8, as he goes to trial. Pray for Pastor Youcef’s strength as he stands trial before a corrupt court. 

Pray for increased international pressure and for them to acquit and release Pastor Youcef to his family. Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide