On Jan. 11, 2010, Imran Ghafur Masih was sentenced to life in prison and fined 100,000 rupees ($1,155 U.S.).
On July 1, 2009, Pakistani police arrested Imran Ghafur in Punjab province after Muslims accused him of burning pages of the Quran. While cleaning his brother’s retail shop, Imran removed the trash he had collected, intending to burn some of it. While burning the trash, pages of an Islamic book flew into the fire and burned. Imran’s neighbor, Haji Liaqat, saw the burned pages of the Islamic book and alerted other Muslims in the area. And he aggressively told all resident people and travelers that Imran burnt the pages of a Quran also, so he should be killed.
On July 2, 2009, Imran was moved to a jail. “The situation is very tense in Hajwari town, where the Christian families live,” the VOM contact said. “Haji Liaqat and his friends are saying that they will not allow Imran’s family to live in the colony or run their business.” Imran and his family have been managing businesses in the area and are actively involved with other Christians in the area.
On Thursday, May 26, 2011, Imran’s brother, Naveed, visited Imran in jail. Naveed told Imran many people were praying for him and he asked Imran what message he wanted to give VOM and other prayer partners. Imran had tears of joy in his eyes. He said, “I am thankful to Lord for this help. I wish that I could personally meet and thank you, but I am in jail. I cannot do that, but I promise, the day I come out of this prison, surely I will thank you for this love and prayers.” Imran said he is using his time in prison to study God’s Word. “I am happy the Lord wants to use me for his Kingdom.”
The court handling the case of Pakistani Christian Imran Ghafur announced a new court hearing on Friday, May 17. Please pray that something will come from the hearing and that Imran will soon be released from prison. Imran has been in prison for nearly 10 years on false blasphemy charges.