30 January 2014
UK Christians call on Pakistani government to spare Muslim life
The Evangelical Alliance Scotland is calling on the governments of Scotland and the UK to intercede with the Pakistani government to rescind the death penalty against a 69-year old Scotsman.
Mohammad Asghar, from Edinburgh, is scheduled to die after being convicted of blasphemy by Pakistan's Federal Shariah Court. The sentence was handed down on 4 December 2013 and the government of Pakistan has until 4 February 2014 to either appeal or implement it.
Director of the Evangelical Alliance Scotland, Fred Drummond, is urging the Pakistani authorities to appeal the decision. He is also calling on the governments of Scotland and the UK to raise the blasphemy law with the Pakistani authorities at their meeting today.
"It is irrelevant whether Mr Asghar is a Christian or not. What is relevant is concern over the misuse of the law which has been raised by numerous people including Pakistani politicians. Alongside the Church of Scotland and several human rights groups, including Amnesty International, we join the call for this blasphemy law to be rescinded."
"The Alliance and its partners have consistently spoken out against the law which is being used to persecute Muslims, Christians and those of other minority religions in the country."
National Coordinator for the South Asian Forum of the Evangelical Alliance, Manoj Raithatha, says "every human life is sacred and a gift from God and so to be implementing this violates the basic human right to life and freedom of religion and speech."
Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.