In Pakistan, as a Christian, you not only live as part of a tiny minority, you also live in a dangerous situation. A few verses of the Bible on social media was enough for arrest and charges of “blasphemy”. The Vatican media reports about it but does not quote the verses used. There might even be a reason.
Inhalt / Content
Christ is said to have blasphemed the Koran
Pakistan is almost entirely a Muslim country. Over 96 percent follow the Koran. The remaining almost 4 percent belong to Christianity, Hinduism, Ahmadiyya Islam, Sikhism and other religions. Any statements against the Koran and the figures contained therein should therefore be treated with great caution in Pakistan. However, one Christian “dared” to quote a few verses of the Bible on Facebook. He has since been arrested on charges of blasphemy, according to Vatican News citing the Vatican press service Fides.
Pakistani Christian quotes verse from 1 Corinthians
So the Pakistani quoted a few lines from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 10:18-22). Vatican News explains what these verses were about without showing the actual wording. It was only about “victims and demons”, without further information on the context. The Bible text used by the Pakistani is as follows:
Vatican News does not reveal any more information about the background of these statements, probably relying on the convenience of their readers.
Muslim neighbor denounced the Christian
In relation to Islam, this Facebook post apparently angered Muslims due to the upcoming Eid al-Adha festival of sacrifice. At least that was the view of a Muslim living in the same town as the now imprisoned Christian. Soon after the accusation, things got “very restless” in the small village. According to Fides, the situation escalated rather quickly. Accordingly, some Christian families fled and sought salvation in neighboring villages.
The riots were violent. After a lawyer brought the accused and his family to safety, the police took the Christian into “custody”.
Not a crime but against blasphemy law
The lawyer speaks of an unfavorable situation for the accused. While it is clear that the Christian did not commit a crime, the “sensitive issue” of the prevailing blasphemy law has a major influence here. Thousands of such cases are already pending in Pakistan’s courts, especially those in which Christians are “wrongly accused and arrested even though they are innocent”.
The blasphemy law seems to be a gateway for informers, who can bring “unwelcome” people into serious trouble with an accusation. This law applies when blasphemies against the Koran or the Prophet Mohammed have been committed.
Denunciation was (is) also a practice in Europe
Such events are reminiscent of the conditions that once prevailed in the middle of Europe. At that time it was not about insulting Islam, but about accusations of sorcery or witchcraft and also about spreading teachings that did not correspond to the Catholic catechism. This also applied to quoting from the Bible. For centuries the Waldensians were among the most “experienced” believers in the Bible.
All of this could be dismissed as “old news” if one simply ignored the countless victims. But the Church of Rome is very, very reluctant to remember the atrocities it caused with (conservatively estimated) victims in the approximately 3-digit million range.
The verses could also be embarrassing for Rome
The verses of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians used by the Pakistani Christian also contain other explosive material. This does not apply to Islam, but to the Catholic Church and the rites it practices itself. The focus here is of all things the “most important sacrament” of this Church, the Eucharist. This ritual is nothing more than what Paul reproaches the Corinthians for. Idolatry and eating food offered to false gods. In addition, the “worship of the host” with the constantly repeated sacrifice of Jesus is an unprecedented blasphemy.
True to the motto “stop the thief”, the disappearance of such verses from the public eye could also be in the interest of the Church of Rome. Therefore, Vatican News’ refusal to print the verse is even understandable.
By the way: The term “Fides” can be understood in two ways. Once “Fides” is Latin for “faith” and the other variant is the “goddess Fides”. A pagan goddess of oaths. A sign of “Fides” is, for example, the index finger held in front of the mouth and pointing upwards (“request to remain silent”).
Bible verses from King James Version