Partners in Pakistan thank Church for supporting Pakistani Christian girl

The Methodist Church in Britain has received messages of thanksfrom partner churches in Pakistan in appreciation of people'ssupport for Rimsha Masih who was released from a Pakistani prisonearlier this week following accusations of blasphemy.

The Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the MethodistChurch in Britain, said: "We welcome Rimsha's release and hope thatall charges will now be dropped. We have noted with concern thatthe blasphemy laws seem to have become a tool for religiousintolerance and that they are also being widely misused. We aremeeting with representatives from the Christian and Muslim faithcommunities in Geneva next week to discuss how we can supportpeople in Pakistan wanting to address the misuse of the blasphemylaws."

A spokesperson for a partner organisation in Pakistan said: "ThankGod that the prayers for the release of Rimsha were heard. Butthere are still dangerous implications for the future for the lifeof Rimsha, her family and other Christians from the locality. Thisis an initial battle won, though with many more battles ahead. TheCentre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement in Lahore isgrateful to all of you for being with the Christian community inPakistan through prayers and moral support."