Last week a mother of five from Pakistan had a death sentence ruling against her upheld by the High Court. Her name is Asia Bibi and as she prepares to take her appeal to the Supreme Court – the final judgement on the case – we’re asking you, your youth group and your churches to pray for her.
At Open Doors we’re asking diplomats around the world to highlight Asia’s case. “The international community is already convinced that Asia is a typical case of abuse of the Blasphemy Law and should be released,” an Open Doors spokesperson has said. “We need to pray for influential people in this country that they will be able to release Asia and at the same time prevent havoc and targeted attacks.”
Two dozen Islamic extremists were present at the Pakistani High Court last week, adding further pressure to the presiding judge. At Asia’s next appeal at the Supreme Court, outsiders will not be admitted to the court room, which has made Asia’s legal time slightly more hopeful. The rulings of the judges of the Supreme Court are very important, as their rulings create precedents for lower courts.
However, Asia’s case is highly controversial, and there are fears that a ruling in Asia’s favour could lead to violence and even targeted murders of other Christians. Punjab governor Salman Taseer and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti were assassinated in 2011 after showing support for Asia.
“We hope that the Pakistani government and judicial system find a way out for Asia,” our spokesperson says. “It is a country with brave people. Rimsha Masih, a then 12-year-old girl, was arrested in August 2012 on the same charge of blasphemy. However, it was soon found that she was falsely accused and she was literally airlifted out of prison, reunited with her family and relocated to a safe location. Another brave Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, was even awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this month after having been shot by the Taliban for promoting the educational rights of young girls. She was also brought into safety. We pray that God will make the same thing happen for Asia.”
Asia has spent much of the last five years in solitary confinement to protect her from other inmates, and even some of the guards. Her family have gone into hiding. Even her legal team face threats to their careers, families, and lives. Please pray for Asia, her family, her legal team, and the judge who will hear her appeal, and ask your church to do the same.
Source: World Watch Monitor
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.