(Voice of the Persecuted) Asia Bibi is a Christian mother of five and the first woman in Pakistan to be sentenced to death for blasphemy (insulting the Prophet Mohammed). She has been imprisoned and suffering on death row since 2009. For fear she may be assassinated in prison, she is alone in a cell and forced to cook her own meals to prevent poisoning.
Pakistan’s Supreme court announced her appeal will take place on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, She desperately needs our prayers.
On a very hot day in June 2009. Asia’s Muslim co-workers refused to drink water she had brought for them. They considered her Christian faith made her unclean and she had defiled the water.
An argument ensued and Asia was accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammed. She has always denied this charge, but she was sentenced to death 5 months later.
AFP reports that radical voices in Pakistan continue to call for her hanging.
Mustafa Qadri, an expert on human rights in South Asia, encouraged the Supreme Court to rule in Bibi’s favor, as it would “send a powerful message to the world that Pakistan respects the rule of law and not the mob.”
However, many fear if Asia is released violent protests will erupt and Christians will be targeted.
We, along with others, have advocated for our Christian sister languishing alone in a prison cell as she prays for her sentenced to be repealed. VOP and groups, such as the American Center for Law and Justice, are also urging Christians to speak out for Bibi ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision, which could lead to her execution. You can sign their petition here.
If the death sentence is upheld, Asia will become the first woman in Pakistan to be executed for blasphemy.
While praying for Asia, a member of Voice of the Persecuted’s Prayer Warrior team was reminded of a scripture that she had copied out a few months ago to pray for her. She admitted that although she had been praying for her most days, she had not often declared this scripture.
For He looked down from His holy height;
From heaven the Lord gazed upon the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoner,
To set free those who were doomed to death,
UPDATE: We will be holding a second prayer conference call on Wednesday, Oct. 12
Dates of Call…….
Tuesday, Oct. 11 and Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016 (from any location using your phone)
Time of call…….
9 p.m. Eastern
8 p.m. Central
7 p.m. Mountain
6 p.m. Pacific
Call number and access code are…….
Christian advocacy groups such as CSW and many church leaders are also calling for 24 hour prayer beginning Oct. 12th as her trial begins.
Prayer Points from CSW:
- That Asia would be acquitted
- For her strength and restoration during and after the hearing
- For wisdom and protection for Saiful Malook, her lawyer; and for the judges hearing her case
- For the wider Christian community who may face a backlash whatever the outcome of the appeal
- For an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Pakistan, to maintain calm in the country.
- For justice for others accused of blasphemy, and that the government would urgently amend the blasphemy laws
Join with Voice of the Persecuted in daily prayer for Asia and remember her on Wednesday, October 12th as her trial begins.
L. Kanalos, VOP Founder/Advocate