Beliefnet News

Clive Trevor, who fled his native Pakistan with his family after he was accused of blasphemy by a Muslim cleric, is praying that Finland will give him sanctuary, reports the Pakistan Christian Post, an online newspaper.

After months in hiding in fear of arrest or death at the hands of radical Muslims, he and his family were able to make their way to Finland in 2008 and hoped to be able to remain there.

But now he, his wife Tasneem Trevor, daughter Elina Trevor and son Kevin Trevor are awaiting a higher court’s decision on his asylum application — which has been denied by immigration authorities. That puzzles Clive since Finland is a member state of the European Union. The EU Human Rights Commission has repeatedly expressed concern on Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law and urged its repeal it because it has been abused in targeting religious minorities.

“There have been incidents of broad day light murders of Christian accused of blasphemy in courts and jails,” reports the Post, which is published by the Pakistan Christian Congress. “There have been incidents of destroying Christian villages on pretext to blasphemy law and burning alive Christian children and women by Muslim mobs.

Trevor told the Post that a number of  Pakistani Christians have provided the Finnish courts with ample evidence of his plight. Saleem Khursheed Khokar, a Christian member of Pakistan’s regional Sindh Assembly, wrote to Finland immigration authorities confirming the dire situation.

The family arrived in Finland in September 2008 as refugees, but were denied asylum in January 2010, then in a June 2011 appeal to the Helsinki Administrative Court.

“We appealed in Supreme Administrative Court in Helsinki,” says Trevor, “and in their first decision they said, ‘We believe what you have said is true, but we need more information regarding the person who is trying to kill you and your family.’ After many long efforts, I got some help from Khokhar who explained the life-threatening we are facing.”

However, so far, Finnish authorities have said there is “no proof” that anyone from the Pakistan government “wants to kill you.”

“We have told them we have a blasphemy case registered against us,” says Trevor, who is becoming desperate.

“If we are returned, we shall be killed.”

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