A young Christian man who had converted to Islam in order to marry a Muslim girl was jailed last week in Pakistan, charged with blasphemy after he tried to return to his Christian faith.It was the first blasphemy case reported against a Christian since Pakistan Chief Executive Gen. Pervez Musharraf announced a judicial curb two weeks ago against "misuse" of the country's severe laws against religious blasphemy.According to brief news reports appearing May 4 in the Daily Jang, Khabrain, and Dawn newspapers, Kingri Masih of Sherabad was charged under Pakistan Penal Code Section 295-C. The law carries a mandatory death sentence for defiling the name of Mohammed, the prophet of Islam.Police at Sherabad's Ghulam Mohammed Abad police station registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Masih based on a complaint filed by Rana Mohammed Shahid, the media reports said. Both the defendant and his accuser are residents of Sherabad, near the Punjabi city of Faisalabad.According to the Urdu-language Daily Jang, Masih was charged with "blaspheming the Prophet [Mohammed] and his honor and speaking against Islam."Masih was described by his accuser as a Christian who had converted to Islam and married a Muslim girl, but then reversed his decision and adopted Christianity again. There are no legal statutes in Pakistani law that prohibit citizens from changing their religion, although under Islamic family law, a Muslim woman is only permitted to marry a Muslim man."The police have arrested the accused and sent him to prison," reported the "Daily Jang." Christians accused of blasphemy in Pakistan rarely are granted bail, although all have eventually been acquitted after years in prison.Newspapers said the allegations against Masih were ...1
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