Blasphemy charges have been laid against two Christians for studying the Bible in a Pakistan park earlier this month.
The Christians, Haroon Ayub Masih and Salamat Mansha Masih, both in their 20s, were in Lahore's Model Town Park, CBN News reports.
The two believers were approached by a group of Muslims and told they should not read the Bible in public, says attorney Aneeqa Maria of The Voice Society.
One of the Christians told the group it was not illegal to read the Bible in public in Pakistan and told them they had no right to stop them.
The group began to question the Christians about their faith and asked if they had reading material that could help them understand the Bible.
Maria says Masih gave the group a Christian book, which they took and then left.
One of the believers then decided to go home. His friend stayed at the park.
The Muslim group soon returned and attacked Masih. Maria says the group claimed the believers had blasphemied against their prophet.
"They also summoned the park's security and lied to them that the two Christians were evangelizing to Muslims in the park and had used derogatory words for the Koran and the prophet Muhammed," Maria says.
One of the individuals in the Muslim group called Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a far right Islamist political party that has been accused of behind involved in blasphemy cases against Christians.
The TLP's co-founder has reportedly called for the deaths of three Supreme Court justices who were involved in Asia Bibi's 2018 acquittal.
Some TLP leaders arrived at the park and pressured police to charge the Christians.
The leaders wanted charges for derogatory remarks against Muhommad laid, which carries a punishment of death, as well as defiling the Koran, punishable by life imprisonment and a fine.
The believer still in the park was taken into custody and pre-arrest bail was arranged for the other believer until Feb. 24.
"Haroon and Mansha were not preaching to the Muslims as alleged... In fact, they were reading the Bible and discussing it amongst themselves when a group of Muslim boys, overheard them and objected to their Bible study," Maria says.
Both Christians come from poor families and one family has gone into hiding out of concern for their safety, the attorney says.
In Pakistan, false accusations of blasphemy are common and sometimes lead to deadly consequences.
A Christian nurse was charged with blasphemy in Karachi last month. Staff members at the Sobhraj Materning Hosptial reportedly attacked the nurse and locked her in a room after they accused her of blaspheming Islam.