Partners in Pakistan thank Church for supporting Pakistani Christian girl

The Methodist Church in Britain has received messages of thanks from partner churches in Pakistan in appreciation of people's support for Rimsha Masih who was released from a Pakistani prison earlier this week following accusations of blasphemy.

The Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church in Britain, said: "We welcome Rimsha's release and hope that all charges will now be dropped. We have noted with concern that the blasphemy laws seem to have become a tool for religious intolerance and that they are also being widely misused. We are meeting with representatives from the Christian and Muslim faith communities in Geneva next week to discuss how we can support people in Pakistan wanting to address the misuse of the blasphemy laws."

A spokesperson for a partner organisation in Pakistan said: "Thank God that the prayers for the release of Rimsha were heard. But there are still dangerous implications for the future for the life of Rimsha, her family and other Christians from the locality. This is an initial battle won, though with many more battles ahead. The Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement in Lahore is grateful to all of you for being with the Christian community in Pakistan through prayers and moral support."

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