Pastor Zafar Bhatti has been on death row for 11 years for preaching the Gospel in Pakistan and is currently awaiting his execution.
Pastor Zafar founded an NGO to help the poor, called “Jesus of World Mission,” where he went door to door praying for families facing hardship and reading the Bible to those who would listen.
Local Muslims did not like Pastor Zafar’s activities. A local imam in Pakistan accused Pastor Zafar of sending him a text message attacking Islam – a charge that Pastor Zafar denies. There is no proof that Pastor Zafar ever sent the message. The message was later discovered to be sent from a phone that was never registered to Pastor Zafar.
Pastor Zafar has been charged with the notorious Section 295-C of Pakistan’s Penal Code for Blasphemy. This law is often used against Christians. It was used against a mother working in the fields named Asia Bibi who was sentenced to death for drinking from the same water well as other Muslim women. Rifta Masih was also tried for death under the same law when she was only eleven years old.
BTJ is currently writing a book about the story of Shagufta Kausar, a Pakistan mother of four who was sentenced to death for the same accusation as Pastor Zafar, under Section 295-C. Shagufta was a poor cleaner who was accused of sending a blasphemous text to a local imam. The problem with the accusation is that the text was sent in English. Shagufta has never owned a mobile phone, never attended a real school, is illiterate in her own language, and never learned English.
The book will be released in 2024. The prayer is that it will highlight the unfair blasphemy laws in Pakistan and other Islamic countries that are currently used to persecute Christians like Pastor Zafar.
NOTE: Picture of Pastor Zafar extracted from https://jesusworldmission.wordpress.com/2021/01/16/zaffar-bhatti-the-chairman/