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Christian teenager persecuted in Punjab, charged with blasphemy

April 10, 2024 by Chandler Peterson in Persecuted Christians in Pakistan

Ashbeel Baber Ghouri is a young resident of the Christian community in Darsalam, Attock, where he is a 12th-grade student. Last month, Ashbeel was abruptly dismissed from school following allegations of blasphemy leveled against him by a classmate after a quarrel. He returned home—only to be arrested on charges of blasphemy under Pakistan’s infamous laws, according to an incident report.

Christian Teenager Persecuted by a Former Friend

According to a complaint filed with the Attock City Police, Ashbeel and his Muslim friend were conversing over WhatsApp when the friend encouraged Ashbeel to convert to Islam. The discussion turned to the topic of polygamy; Ashbeel reportedly insisted that, according to Christianity, God prohibits multiple marriages and considers polygamy a sin. In response to Ashbeel’s statement, his Muslim friend accused him of denigrating Islamic religious practices and implying that Allah permits sinful behavior.

Following the false blasphemy allegations, the principal of the boys’ school was informed about the altercation. Instead of investigating the matter and mediating a resolution between the two students, the vice principal immediately contacted the police and initiated the task of registering a police complaint against Ashbeel. 

A neighbor of Ashbeel’s family, who has advocated for Ashbeel’s freedom, disclosed that Ashbeel had known this classmate since childhood and had long considered him a friend. According to the neighbor, the Muslim classmate once had a fondness for Ashbeel. However, the candid discussion about religion turned toxic when Ashbeel maintained his commitment to Christ. Throughout the conversation, Ashbeel was respectful. Nevertheless, the friend turned on him.

Ashbeel Granted Bail—But Could Face Death Penalty

Following his arrest, Ashbeel began his legal battle for justice. Despite being granted temporary bail, his case remains under trial with further court proceedings scheduled. He now fears violence from those who advocate for the death penalty. In a society where religious extremists circumvent the legal system, persecuted Christians like Ashbeel are often made victims of mob violence.

These charges have upended young Ashbeel’s life and plunged his family into great difficulty. They now face social ostracization and threats of physical harm. Additionally, the Christian teenager persecuted for his faith and his parents have had to abandon the family home and seek refuge in a secure location. The blasphemy accusation has financial repercussions as well. Ashbeel’s father–the sole provider of the family–has had to quit his job after enduring taunts and threats from his coworkers and employers. Facing similar adversities, Ashbeel’s sister was compelled to leave her high school and abandon her studies.

This story mirrors that of Simon, a 13-year-old persecuted Christian in Pakistan, which we shared last year. Simon was also arrested on false charges of blasphemy and could face the death penalty.

Please say a prayer for Ashbeel, a Christian teenager persecuted in Punjab. 

Lord Jesus, we pray for Ashbeel and his family, who have been forced to go into hiding to protect themselves from harassment and violence. Cover them with a hedge of protection and allow them to live in safety and peace with their neighbors.

Thank you for giving Ashbeel the courage to stand up for his faith, despite the risks of persecution. Let him remember Your words in Matthew 5: “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

*Photo Description: A representative image of Ashbeel, a Christian teenager persecuted in Pakistan.

About the author
Chandler Peterson is a staff writer and editor for Global Christian Relief where she shares stories of Christian persecution. Read the latest Christian persecution stories on our website and learn more at

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