(Voice of the Persecuted) For 7 years, Asia Bibi has clung to Jesus as she sits in a Pakistani prison facing a death sentence. The Christian mother of 5 upholds she is innocent of the charge, but her court appeals have been postponed to an undetermined date. Extremists have promised to kill Bibi if she is released from prison and her death sentence not upheld. Those exonerated of blasphemy charges are at great risk, even murdered by radicals when released. Christian Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was also murdered for opposing the blasphemy laws and advocating on her behalf. Some extremists blame her for his death.
Note: Muslims consist of an overwhelming 96 percent of the population in Pakistan. Pakistan’s blasphemy law is often misused by Muslims to attack Christians and other religious minorities to settle personal issues.
Recently Asia was listed as one of the nominees for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The Prize is an initiative of the EU Parliament and is awarded to individuals or groups battling to defend fundamental human rights. Describing Bibi’s nomination, Polish ECR member Anna Fotyga said,
“Her behaviour and dignity in prison all these years is the best proof of her being able to present the dignity of a defender of human rights in the face of the worse fate. We look forward to a final sentence from the supreme court eventually acquitting her.”
Though Bibi is not on the updated short list, her initial nomination brought renewed attention on Pakistan’s unfair blasphemy laws.
Read this OP-ED by Kaleem Dean:
Here in Pakistan, Asia Bibi remains a Christian prisoner of faith. Yet as her seventh year on death row draws to a close – it seems that the outside world has not forgotten about her. For she has been nominated for the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2017.
The Prize is an initiative of the EU Parliament and is awarded to those individuals or groups battling to defend fundamental human rights. Asia Bibi is in good company. Among this year’s nominees are: a Guatemalan human rights campaigner, two members of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a Swedish-Eritrean playwright, journalist and writer and a Burundian human rights activist.
Asia Bibi has suffered long and hard. Her status as a prisoner of faith was taken up by the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), a political group that enjoys strong presence within the EU Parliament. And it is this backing that has made her a serious contender for the Sakharov Prize. SEE MORE (recommended)
Pray for Pakistan
- Pray for our sister, Asia Bibi
- Pray for God’s healing power
- Pray for God’s mercy
- Pray for the light of Christ to shine through this darkness
- Pray for comfort, knowledge, wisdom and guidance