Radical Muslims have put up posters in the city of Karachi in Pakistan, offering a reward for any Muslim who kills a Christian activist, the father of three who fled to an undisclosed location in Thailand, according to a report.
Faraz Pervaiz, who was known for speaking out for minority Christians after a mob looted and destroyed at least 116 houses and two churches in Pakistan’s Lahore city in 2013, fled to Thailand after videos, caricatures and statements by him and his father went viral on social media in 2014, according to the U.S.-based persecution watchdog, International Christian Concern.
As a result, Pakistan’s Tahreek-e-Labbaik political party released a bounty of $62,000 in 2015, which was increased to $124,000 the following year, UCA News reported. A radical Pakistani Muslim also released a video calling on every Muslim to find Pervaiz and his family in Thailand and kill him.
Now posters offering a reward of about $62,800 to kill Pervaiz have appeared in Karachi in Pakistan, according to UCA News, which explained that after the 2013 violence in Lahore, Pervaiz led protests that “challenged both the politics and theology of Islam, [he] presented his interpretations of the Quran and criticized the Prophet, Muhammad.”
The Pakistani government filed a criminal blasphemy case against Pervaiz in 2017.
Although Pakistan is known for imprisoning more people for blasphemy than any other country, Pervaiz told The Christian Post earlier that his case was the first instance in the history of Pakistan’s blasphemy law that the state itself registered a blasphemy case against someone.
Last July, Pervaiz had to move with his family to a secret location outside Bangkok, as a video revealing his location went viral on social media. The video, made by a Pakistani Muslim refugee, called for “every Muslim in this world” to travel to Thailand’s capital of Bangkok and kill Pervaiz.
Two days before last Christmas, Pervaiz was attacked by a group of radical Muslims at a grocery store and was treated at a nearby hospital two days later. According to a medical document issued by the hospital that was obtained by CP, he was treated for “an abrasion wound and contusion due to body assault.”
Despite years of pleading with the United Nations high commissioner for refugees to be resettled, he feels the entity and the international community are failing his family in their time of great need.
“I am in a situation where we are helpless here,” Pervaiz explained in an earlier phone interview. “Actually it’s not the fault of UNHCR. This is the fault of my people, my Christian community. They are not taking any serious measures for our safety.”
In Pakistan, blasphemy is punishable by death.
Christians are often targeted both by Pakistan’s blasphemy laws meant to protect Islamic sensitivities and by hardliners who carry out violence and have killed scores of believers in the past several years.
The blasphemy law, embedded in Sections 295 and 298 of the Pakistan Penal Code, is frequently misused for personal revenge. It carries no provision to punish a false accuser or a false witness of blasphemy.
The law is also used by Islamist extremists to target religious minorities — Christians, Shi’as, Ahmadiyyas and Hindus.
Pakistan is ranked as the fifth worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2020 World Watch List.
At the U.S. State Department’s 2019 Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, Pakistani rights activist Shaan Taseer said that there are as many as 200 people jailed in Pakistan on blasphemy charges.