“I was sleeping in my house when the police barged in and took me away. They said I had committed blasphemy by sharing images in a WhatsApp group, but the truth is I don’t know who shared those images or how they got downloaded onto my phone,” Nabeel explains from a constricted visitation room in jail.
The police said they received a tip that Nabeel would be in a public park at 3:30 in the morning, showing people the blasphemous depictions on his phone. The FIR (First Information Report) filed against Nabeel dictates he was arrested in a park at 3:30 a.m. However, neighbors and his family testified that he was arrested at his home.
“During interrogations, including the one conducted by a special joint investigation team, I repeatedly told the officers that I didn’t know anything about the images, but they refused to listen to my pleas. I was not lying … why would I do something that I know could put me and my family at risk?” Nabeel says.
He adds, “I always knew there was a high chance of conviction because everyone in jail used to say that those charged under Section 295-C (of the blasphemy statutes) are convicted to death 99% of the time. Still, it didn’t weaken my faith in God and I didn’t let my hope for freedom die.”
Nabeel has put in an appeal, but the process could take years. Meanwhile, his parents are in great debt due to jail expenses.
Even though the situation is bleak, Nabeel is encouraged: “I came to know about Christ more personally when I started reading the Bible in my cell. God’s Word has given me hope and the perseverance to endure this suffering … The Bible says that God loves us so much that He sacrificed His only Son for our eternal life—this message of hope has kept me going all this time!”
Nabeel has the following prayer requests:
“My only prayer to God is for freedom from this prison and a chance to serve my elderly parents, who have suffered more than me.
“I’d request all Christians to pray for my acquittal from these cases; that God may lead my lawyer and give courage to the judge to do justice. Also, pray for the encouragement of all other persons who are being persecuted through false blasphemy accusations.”
Join us in praying for Nabeel.
Lord of all creation, we lift up Nabeel to Your heavenly throne. We plead the blood of Jesus over him and all those who have false blasphemy charges against them. You are the God of justice and we ask You to intervene and let Your perfect will be done in Nabeel’s life. Bring him comfort and peace in the persecution he faces. Renew his hope and strength as he trusts in You alone. Amen.
*Representative name and photo used to preserve security
About The Author
Tim Dustin is a staff writer for Global Christian Relief, a nonprofit Christian ministry that works to strengthen persecuted believers and raise awareness regarding Christian persecution. For more information, visit our website at GlobalChristianRelief.org.