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Rome Reports

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Another Christian sentenced to death in Pakistan, accused of blasphemy

Sawan Masih is a 26-year-old Pakistani man sentenced to death. He is Christian, and one of his friends accused him of insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Even though the accusation lacked proof, it immediately triggered violent reactions.  MOBEEN SHAHID Association of Pakistani Christians "It was announced by a loudspeaker of the mosque that a Christian had committed blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.â? A mob attacked the Sawan Masih's neighborhood, leaving 400 families homeless. Authorities arrested 70 people, but they released them all on bail. Christians are a minority in Pakistan, and critics say accusing them of blasphemy is the easiest way of casting them aside. MOBEEN SHAHID Association of Pakistani Christians "They damaged 178 houses of the Christian community and two churches were burned along with thousands of Bibles." Now, several international initiatives seek to pressure the Pakistani government to overturn young Masih's death sentence. In Italy, for example, his supporters created an email account (salviamosawanmasih@yahoo.it) to collect signatures on his behalf. JRB MG JM -PR Up:AC