Christian Cleared of Blasphemy Charges in Pakistan
A court in Pakistan has dropped charges of blasphemy against Christian woman Mussarat Bibi, a school cleaner, and her teenage Muslim co-worker Muhammad Sarmad. The decision comes seven months after they were released from prison on bail. CSI’s project partner has welcomed the “landmark judgment”.
The pair were acquitted on December 8 as a result of the efforts of their legal team and Anjum*, a project partner of Christian Solidarity International (CSI).
Bibi and Sarmad had spent 23 days in prison on blasphemy charges before being released on bail on May 12.
Nigerian Blasphemy Victim Freed on Bail
Rhoda Jatau, a Christian healthcare worker accused of blasphemy and jailed in May 2022, has been granted bail and freed. However, the charges against her have not been dropped. A new court hearing is scheduled for December 19.
The mother of five was released from prison in Bauchi State on December 8. She had spent 18 months in detention on charges of inciting public disturbance, “exciting contempt of religious creed”, and cyber stalking.
The welcome news comes less than two weeks after the Bauchi High Court on November 27 rejected a “no-case submission” request brought by the defense, ruling that Jatau had a case to answer.
Conflict Driving Christians from their Homes in Indonesia
A long-running conflict between the government of Muslim-majority Indonesia and the predominantly Christian population of West Papua shows no sign of ending. Since 2018 frequent violent clashes have forced tens of thousands of Papuans from their homes. The displaced are living in precarious conditions.
The indigenous people of West Papua – a province in the western half of the island of New Guinea – have been Christian for generations. More than 95 percent of indigenous Papuans are Christians of various denominations.
The Indonesian government treats West Papua as a colony to be exploited. Land dispossession, mining operations, deforestation, and military operations threaten not just the way of life of the Papuans, but their very existence. In this situation, churches are among the few actors standing behind the indigenous people.
Germany Hosts Azerbaijani Official Two Months After Attack on Karabakh
Christian Solidarity International (CSI- Germany) is expressing outrage over the visit of Sahiba Gafarova, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the German parliament on November 30, 2023.
CSI condemns the uncritical reception accorded to the Azerbaijani politician.
CSI says it is “incomprehensible and outrageous” that Germany would welcome Gafarova, a leading member of Azerbaijan’s ruling party, just two months after Azerbaijan drove 120,000 Christians out of Nagorno Karabakh. In doing so, Germany is showing support for Azerbaijan’s genocidal actions.
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