Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Ephesians 6:18 — King James Version
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Ephesians 6:18 — New International Version
Praying always. With perseverance. Keeping in mind always. While alert always. The Lord’s people. Praying for the saints. Continually. And let us begin each of these prayers to God our Father, God our Lord Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit bearing in mind those persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.
And we have things to complain about? To take our requests about our jobs, what we should buy, where we should live, and so on to the Lord before we put in our minds, in our hearts the thoughts for and the prayers for the Lord’s people? Especially those under and enduring persecution for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
May we continually keep in mind what the Lord did for us.
Aware of that sacrifice. Always thinking of others. Concern for others.
The persecution of Christians is increasing daily. Worldwide. It in all likelihood is coming to where you live. Even if you live in England, or Canada, or Australia, or America. It is coming. Then, if experiencing it firsthand will we be asking for others to pray for us?
Thursday, January 13th, 2022
ACP — A Crooked Path
Pakistani Christian Accused of “Blasphemy” Sentenced to Death
January 11, 2022
Reprinted from Barnabas Aid
Zafar Bhatti, a Pakistani Christian who was convicted of “blasphemy” in May 2017, was sentenced to death by Rawalpindi District Court on January 3.
Bhatti, who has been fighting to clear his name since his arrest in 2012, appeared in court as part of an ongoing appeal against the life sentence he received when first convicted.
The court, however, upheld the 2017 conviction, and further ruled that the proper sentence for “blasphemy” against Muhammad, the Islamic prophet, was death rather than life imprisonment.
Zafar Bhatti, who has been imprisoned for nearly ten years, was appealing against a life sentence for “blasphemy”. A District Court judge instead sentenced him to death [Image credit: Naila Inayat]
The ruling is based on a 1991 constitutional court decision that the death penalty is the only appropriate punishment for “blasphemy” against Muhammad.
Zafar’s legal representatives plan to appeal against both the death penalty and the original conviction.
Zafar was convicted of “blasphemy” for allegedly sending texts insulting Muhammad on a phone that was not registered in his name. He has always denied the allegations. In September 2020 it was reported that he had suffered a heart attack in prison, and that there were serious concerns for his deteriorating physical and mental health.
Laws outlawing insulting religion have existed in the region since 1860 and were incorporated into Pakistan’s Penal Code at the country’s founding in 1947.
The laws were strengthened under the military government of General Zia-ul-Haq (in office 1978-88). This included in 1986 the insertion of Section 295-C into the Pakistan Penal Code, stating that any person who “defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet” is to be “punished with death or imprisonment for life.”
This, however, was followed by the 1991 court ruling that the only suitable punishment for “blasphemy” against Muhammad was death, a more lenient sentence of life imprisonment being “repugnant to the injunctions of Islam.”
Higher courts are, nevertheless, reluctant to uphold a death sentence, and no executions have ever been carried out.
From Barnabas Aid contacts