Prisoner Alert: Zafar Bhatti
September 4, 2013
Zafar Bhatti is accused of blasphemy under Pakistan’s 295C blasphemy law. He was charged in July 2012, based on rumors that he insulted Muhammad’s mother in text messages. Zafar worked selling medicines, and he often went door-to-door with his presentation. He also used those opportunities to share Christ in the various homes, reading the Bible and praying with families. He also established a small NGO called “Jesus World Mission” whose purpose was to assist the poor.
On July 11, 2012, he was accused by a fellow NGO worker of sending blasphemous text messages from a mobile phone that she had given him. Zafar and his wife left the village to avoid a massive riot. Police arrested him on July 26, charging him under 295c of the legal code, which are informally called the “blasphemy laws.”
In jail, Zafar has been beaten several times. Someone also tried to poison his food. Several of the Muslim prisoners pressure him, saying if he accepts Islam he will be forgiven. Zafar’s sister and wife are quite concerned for his well-being in prison as his case moves through the legal system. “Pray that God will help my brother stay strong in his faith,” said his sister.