Dozens of Christian families have fled from their homes in a village near Lahore after a pastor was accused of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.
In a discussion with a Muslim man on August 24, Pastor Sattar Masih, 37, was accused of saying that Muhammad was a brutal man who killed innocent people.
Masih denies the accusations, saying he said nothing derogatory about Islam or the Prophet.
The pastor was beckoned before Islamic clerics to plead his case. “The clerics will decide if he blasphemed against our Prophet and in case he refused to appear before the clerics then we will kill him,” said his accuser, 18-year-old Ali Hassan.
Fearing he would not be given a fair trial, Masih fled to Lahore with 21-year-old Christian Wasim Raza, who had introduced Hassan to the pastor, after a group of Muslims had undertaken a house-to-house search for them.
Masih told World Watch Monitor that one cleric had asked him if he had said Muhammad was a cruel man. “I clearly refuted the claim and told him that I had only defended that the Bible is still in its original form,” he said.
On September 2, more than 250 Muslims gathered to discuss the case against Masih. Seven Christians from the families of Masih and Raza defended him, saying that no insulting language about Islam or its prophet had been used.
The next day, teachers from the village school asked Christian students about the religious teachings Masih had been giving them. More than 100 of them were sent home, which raised alarms among their families, causing many of them to flee from the village.
A local police spokesman said …read the rest @ au.christiantoday.com