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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.  

asia_bibi_a_4X3.jpg
Aasia Bibi

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.  

Please Pray:
  • 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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Daily prayer

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  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 14 hours ago

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi’s final appeal hearing is scheduled to take place tomorrow (14 April) having been deferred twice. She was sentenced to death for blasphemy in November 2010 having been falsely accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with Muslim co-workers. Aasia has been languishing in jail since the accusation was made in June 2009. Pray that her appeal will finally go ahead and that the judges will have the courage to acquit and release Aasia; there are concerns that they may give in to pressure from hardline Islamists who have been calling for her execution. Pray that Aasia, her husband and children will know the Lord’s peace as they await the verdict. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Indians have started going to the polls this week in a general election that is taking place in phases until 12 May. The ruling, secular Congress party is expected to be defeated by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This would be an ominous outcome for the country’s Christian minority. The BJP has given support to extremist groups that attack Christians; states under the party’s rule have generally experienced a rise in anti-Christian violence. It has introduced anti-conversion laws on a state level, and has pledged to introduce national legislation to curb "missionary" activity and end proselytising if elected nationally. Pray for wisdom for Indians as they vote and that the outcome will result in a just government that upholds the rights and freedoms of all citizens. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

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