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Praying for Asia Bibi

April 20, 2011

Asia Bibi is in prison for almost 2 years due to Pakistans blasphemy law. She is sentenced to death by hanging.

Today, we light a candle for Asia Bibi in Pakistan and for those religiously persecuted. For the past two years, Bibi (a Christian) has been in prison for uttering blasphemy against Islam’s prophet Muhammad, as her Muslim neighbors testify.

According to Pakistan’s blasphemy law:

Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person or makes any gesture in the sight of that person or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
Pakistan’s blasphemy laws violates human rights.

Whether or not Bibi uttered words against Islam, she should not be imprisoned.  As The Universal Declaration of Human Rights reflects:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. (Article 18)

Christians in the Middle East continue to be persecuted because of their faith. We  remember the recent events such as the massacre of Christians in Iraq while in church (October 31, 2010) and the deaths of 43 Coptic Christians in Egypt (January 1, 2011) while exiting their church as a car bomb exploded.

The violence and injustice perpetrated against Christians can make a person cynical. Will it ever stop? Even if Bibi were to be released, numerous radical Muslims have voiced that she will be killed by their hands. Her daughters and husband are in hiding due to death threats as well.

Husband and daughters of Asia Bibi

However, Asia Bibi continues to be a witness to hope and a model of Christ’s love. She says, “I want to offer up my suffering to God to be close to Him. I want to thank all those who are praying with me, throughout the world: I feel their support. I want to say to them that I pray for them all and ask God, who is Divine Providence, to bless them.”

I believe prayer can overcome evil and melt hearts of stone. It is important we pray unceasingly for peace and conversion for the world and ourselves daily. What stops me from being cynical? I remember the comforting words of Jesus Christ, ” Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. ” (Matthew 5:11-12)

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