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 fled to Thailand from Pakistan after radical Muslims discovered videos, caricatures, and statements he and his father posted on social media went viral in 2014. Not long after, posters in Karachi displayed a bounty with reward money for the execution of Pervaiz.
Pervaiz is a human rights activist known for his speaking out for minority Christians after a mob looted and destroyed 116 houses and two churches in 2013. Pervaiz led protests that “challenged both the politics and theology of Islam, [he] presented his interpretations of the Quran and criticized the Prophet, Muhammad.” In Pakistan, this amounts to extreme blasphemy, punishable by death, according to the U.S.-based persecution watchdog, International Christian Concern.
The Tahreek-e-Labbaik political party released the first bounty of $62,000 in 2015. The next year a cleric doubled it to $124,000. A video released by a radical Pakistani Muslim called to 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.
Pakistan ranks fifth on Open Doors 2020 World Watch list of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
The Pakistan Penal Code, the main criminal code of Pakistan, punishes blasphemy (Urdu: قانون توہین رسالت) against any recognized religion, providing penalties ranging from a fine to death.
Pakistan inherited blasphemy laws enacted by British colonial authorities and made them more severe between 1980 and 1986, when a number of clauses were added by the military government of General Zia-ul Haq, in order to “Islamicise” the laws and deny the Muslim character of the Ahmadi minority.