This cell cannot stop me from loving my Lord, Jesus Christ, wrote Ayub Masih. He has now served more than five years in prison because of false accusations.
Christians in Pakistan are often falsely accused of blasphemy against Mohammed, the founder of Islam. According to Muslim rules, blasphemy is a crime that carries a penalty of death. Ayub was talking casually to a Muslim friend with whom he had often discussed and joked about controversial issues; the conversation turned to the book, The Satanic Versesa controversial book against Islam. They were overheard, and under the pressure of others, Ayubs friend filed a complaint against him.
Ayub was arrested and sentenced to death for blaspheming Mohammed. Shortly after that, his village was raided, and all twelve Christian families living there were chased from their homes. Ayub pleaded innocent to the charges and appealed the courts judgment. He has prayerfully waited five years in jail for a response from the courts.
He is presently in Sahiwal Central Jail in Multon, Pakistan. He knows that, even upon release, his life would still be in danger, and he would bring danger to others in his family or community. Early in 1998, an attempt was made on his life, and an Islamic mullah (religious leader) once offered a reward of ten thousand dollars to anyone who would kill Ayub.
[i]In Muslim nations today, speaking on a religious subject considered to be contrary to Islam can mean death. Ironically, Muslim worshipers face a death penalty themselves. The Bible teaches that the penalty for sin is spiritual death. Apart from Christ, everyone faces eternal death. Thankfully, however, Christ has paid the death penalty for all who believe, even Muslims. Jesus Christ took our place at the hand of the executioner by being crucified on a cross. His death enables us to have eternal life with God in heaven. Thank God today that your death sentence has been commuted and that you have been pardoned. And pray for those in Muslim nations who may kill Christians on earth, but without Christ, face their own eternal death.[/i]