A Pakistani Christian who fled to Bangkok, Thailand following accusations of blasphemy against Islam is speaking out about the severe persecution he has endured since going into exile.
Faraz Pervaiz, a human rights advocate who opposes the persecution of Christians, told CBN News that his situation has become dire as radical Muslims have increased the bounty on his head.
"A fellow Muslim refugee disclosed my location and a bounty was placed on my head," Pervaiz explained. "This lucrative bounty could compel even 'good' people to do me and my family harm. We have had to go into hiding to try to obviate the risks of harm to our family."
CBN News previously reported that Pervaiz sought refuge after radical Muslims found videos and comments about Islam that he and his father shared on social media in 2014. As a result, Pakistan's Tahreek-e-Labbaik political party released a bounty of $62,000 in 2015, which was increased to $124,000 in 2016.
The refugee revealed that his life and his family members' lives are in constant danger from those who wish to see him dead.
"The most recent development is that my name and address have been published on social media accessible in both Thailand and Pakistan," he declared. "I am now at risk of reprisal attacks or murder by vigilante groups as well as proscribed terrorist organisations, both of which have carried out extra-judicial executions in Pakistan on the grounds of blasphemy charges."
Additionally, Pervaiz told CBN News that a prominent member of the European Pak Muslim Youth Parliament made unfounded claims, calling him a "terrorist" and falsely accusing him of committing crimes.
"These comments are deeply concerning to me and my family and associates," he said. "Muhammad Taha Cheema is misusing his power and abusing his authority as an elected official to perpetuate an agenda that harms me and my family."
"Furthermore, there is no precedent of people being safely carried into custody. It is more likely that these people will cause harm either by beating me or killing me or my family," Pervaiz added. "These people have no intention of safely ensuring that I am conveyed into police custody."
Harsh Islamic law in places like Pakistan calls for death for those accused of blasphemy against Islam.
"My life is in imminent peril and so are my family's lives. I am deeply concerned about all of our welfare and this situation has exacerbated my mother and father's already precarious health conditions. Please act expediently to save us and our family. This situation has ascended to a critical point wherein if action is not taken immediately we will surely perish at the hands of extremists who aspire to extinguish our lives and silence us," Pervaiz concluded.
Please continue to pray for the safety of Faraz Pervaiz, his family, and that the truth will be known.
According to Open Doors USA's 2020 World Watch List, Pakistan ranked fifth in a list of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.
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