Quarrel Leads to Prison
Andrew, a 10-year-old Christian, lives in Pakistan. He has three sisters and two brothers. Many of the students at his school are Muslims.
Pakistan’s “blasphemy laws” say that no one may speak against Islam or damage the Muslim holy book, the Quran. Even Christians who do not do those things are sometimes accused of blasphemy by Muslims who want revenge for something.
That is what happened to Andrew’s family.
One day at school, my 5-year-old sister told me that a boy had stolen her pencil. My older brother and I went to the boy and started quarreling over the pencil.
I didn’t think any more about the quarrel until we got home. The mother of the boy ran into our house and started yelling at us. Then I started to feel afraid because the boy who took the pencil was a Muslim and we are Christians. In other countries, a quarrel about a pencil may not be a big issue. But in my country, a small argument can have big consequences.
That night a mob of angry Muslims came to our house and broke the doors and windows. They had weapons, and they brought gasoline to set our house on fire. Just then the police arrived. They arrested my mother and father and put them in jail! My grandmother, brothers, sisters, and I fled to a safer place where we now live.
A judge sentenced my parents to prison. They were accused of blasphemy against Islam and the Quran. Of course, that was not true!
The quarrel was about a pencil, and my parents did not say anything against Islam. In fact, they always seek peace because they love Jesus. They love others and tell them about the Bible. I think that may be the real reason they are now in prison.
Sometimes we are allowed to visit our parents. We have to wait for hours at the prison before we can see them.
During the visit, they stand behind a fence made of small iron squares. The spaces in the squares are so small that my mother and father can put only one finger through them. One by one, we kiss their fingers. Everybody cries, including me. When the guards order us to leave, we cling to the bars. We want to stay with our parents. Will you pray with us that my parents will be free and never have to go back to prison?
Note: Andrew said that his family’s favorite Bible passage is Psalm 121. Read the Psalm and pray for his family.