Published: 11:20 GMT Standard Time - Friday 18 November 2011
Remember Aasia Bibi one year after death sentence for blasphemy
Country/Region: South and East Asia, Pakistan
This month marks the first anniversary of Christian mother Aasia Bibi’s death sentence for blasphemy in Pakistan; please continue to remember her in your prayers as she awaits an appeal against her conviction.
She has been in jail since June 2009, when she was accused of making derogatory remarks about Muhammad. The allegation was made following an argument between Aasia and fellow women field-labourers, which started when they refused to drink water that she had fetched because she was a Christian. The complaint was made by a local cleric who was not present during the quarrel and heard about the matter afterwards from the other women.
Aasia strongly denied the charge but was sentenced to death on 8 November, 2010; under Pakistan’s “blasphemy” laws, "defiling the name of Muhammad" carries a mandatory death penalty.
An appeal was lodged before the Lahore High Court, and Aasia was expected to be executed this month if it failed. But the case has been delayed and is unlikely to be heard any time soon. (http://www.barnabasfund.org/UK/News/Archives/Long-wait-on-death-row-for-Aasia-Bibi-as-appeal-stalls.html)
Two leading Pakistani politicians who have sought to highlight the miscarriage of injustice suffered by Aasia have been shot dead. Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, a Muslim, was murdered in January, and Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was killed in March.
Aasia’s husband Ashiq Masih and the couple’s children are in hiding because of fears for their safety.
- That the Lord will keep Aasia and her family safe from those who seek their harm
- That her appeal will soon be heard and will result in her release from prison
- That she will remain strong in her faith throughout this ordeal
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