CHAMBERSBURG, Pa.— Since December, Christians have faced a rise in blasphemy accusations specifically targeting Christians in Pakistan. People often use accusations of blasphemy against Islam as a weapon used to achieve personal or professional gain. There is no presumption of innocence in Pakistan, so those accused of blasphemy can be jailed for years. The punishment for blasphemy is death, whereas those proven to have made false accusations may only face six months in prison or a fine of just 1,000 rupees (US$6).
Christians who are falsely accused of blasphemy do not often make it to court unharmed as these accusations can spark mob lynchings, vigilante murders, and mass protests. To counter the fear many face, The Tide® (www.thetide.org) global radio ministry works to share the Gospel with believers and those who have yet to believe in Pakistan and around the world.
“It’s devastating to see how Christians are treated in Pakistan because of their faith in Jesus and to know that many of the persecutors will not be held responsible,” said The Tide Director Don Shenk. “Many Christians around the world face difficulties, persecution, torture, and death because they are in the religious minority.”
Religious minorities make up 54 percent of all blasphemy accusations in Pakistan, despite the minorities accounting for only 3.6 percent of the population.
On January 28, 2021, Tabitha, a Christian nurse, was falsely accused of committing blasphemy while working at a hospital in Karachi. The incident took place after Tabitha found a Muslim coworker taking tips from clients against the hospital’s regulations.
In response, the Muslim coworker falsely accused Gill of committing blasphemy and incited violence against her colleague. Gill was tied up with ropes, tortured, and locked in a room before being taken into police custody. Police found no evidence of blasphemy and released Gill who has since gone into hiding, fearing vigilante violence.
The Tide ministry is celebrating its 75th anniversary of recording and broadcasting gospel programming which now extends into multiple regions on three continents with content in 30 heart languages spoken by millions of people in various countries, including Afghanistan, Albania, Bhutan, India, Kosovo, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, and Zimbabwe. With more than 7,000 languages spoken worldwide and more than 2,000 people groups yet unreached with the Good News of Jesus, the opportunities are tremendous.
For more information about The Tide broadcast projects, history, radio programs around the world, special yearlong campaigns, the weekly Global Update radio features, or other news, visit its website at www.thetide.org or its Facebook page. Read more about The Tide ministry and Director Don Shenk here.
To schedule interviews with Don Shenk, director of The Tide global radio ministry, contact [email protected], Marjorie Pratt, 610.584.1096, ext. 107, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.