Pakistani Christian couple acquitted of blasphemy after 7 years on death row

Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel faced execution for allegedly sending ‘blasphemous’ texts to a mosque cleric, from a phone containing a sim registered in Shagufta’s name. The couple have consistently denied all allegations and believe Shagufta’s National Identity Card was purposely misused. Imprisoned since 2013, the couple were convicted and sentenced to death in April 2014. Their appeal was due to be heard in April 2020, six years after they
were sentenced, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. At their last two hearings in 2021, the judges left the court as they were due to hear the appeal against their death sentences,
The Pakistani woman who replaced Christian Asia Bibi in her prison cell on death row, a mother of 4, Shaguftah Kausar, has – after a dozen delays since April 2020 due to COVID-19 – been acquitted from the death penalty by Lahore High court. Kausar, with her disabled husband Shafqat . . . Read More

Malaysian woman wins 13 year fight for right to call God ‘Allah’

A Malaysian woman’s campaign for Christians’ right to use the word “Allah” for “God” has succeeded after almost 13 years of court hearings and delays. Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill has been campaigning for the right to use the word ever since immigration officials at a Kuala Lumpur airport seized eight . . . Read More

Sri Lankan Christians grapple with aftermath of Easter bombings amid fears of fresh attacks

Poster memorials and crosses for Christians who died in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Easter Sunday, 2019
Sri Lankan Arasaratnam Verl is deep in mourning. His son Jackson (13) and sister Verlini (36) were killed instantly when a bomb exploded in the evangelical Zion Church in the eastern city of Batticaloa on Easter Sunday morning, 21 April. Verlini’s husband Ranjith (39), an engineer and Blackbelt in karate, . . . Read More

Ten years after fake blasphemy charge, Pakistani Asia Bibi reunited with family

Asia Bibi is finally free, almost one decade after she was first imprisoned. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Asia Bibi’s daughter Eicham was 9 when she saw her mum badly beaten and in front of a mob charged with “blasphemy” against the Prophet Muhammad. For over 9 years, Eicham has visited her on death row in Pakistan. Finally, today, now a young woman at 18, Eicham and her . . . Read More

Philippines: Authorities say church bombing not connected to Mindanao referendum

Philippine soldiers and investigators are probing the centre of the Catholic cathedral in Jolo where the first bomb went off during mass on Sunday morning, killing at least 20 people. (Photo: Getty)
In one of the deadliest attacks in the southern Philippines in years, a bomb blast at a church killed at least 20 people and injured 112 on Sunday morning, 27 January. Among the dead are five soldiers who came to the rescue after the first bomb went off inside the . . . Read More

Police in China given quotas for how many Christians to arrest

Police in China given quotas for how many Christians to arrest
Police stations in a city in northeast China are having their performance evaluated according to the number of Christians they arrest, says religious-liberty magazine Bitter Winter. A police officer from Dalian, a port city in Liaoning Province, near the North Korean border, told the magazine that his station had received . . . Read More