Asia Bibi, the Christian wife and mother who was convicted of blasphemy charges in Pakistan, has remained on death row since her shocking sentence was handed down in November 2010.
Although her case has sparked international outrage and demands for the repeal of Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws, Asia’s sentence has not yet been commuted – because, even as thousands of Christians and human rights activists are calling for her release, thousands of fundamentalist Muslims are still calling for her execution.
A local Muslim leader has offered a $6,000 reward to anyone who murders Asia Bibi. As a result of this and other death threats, her family and friends are concerned that she will be killed in prison. Because of the relentless danger to her life, Asia remains confined to her prison cell nearly 24 hours a day. She only dares to eat food that she prepares for herself from groceries provided by her husband.
But the danger is not just a grim, day-to-day reality for Asia herself. CFI co-workers in Pakistan recently reported that when they attempted to contact Asia’s family through Kamran Micheal, the Christian minister in Asia’s hometown, he warned them that Muslim fundamentalists in the area are keeping a close watch on anyone who tries to contact Asia’s friends and siblings, and that continued attempts at contact could prove to be deadly.
Even Asia’s husband, Ashiq, and her two young daughters, Isha and Isham, must deal with the uncertainty of what awaits them each day when they step outside their home, as they have also become targets for violence. In the two years since Asia has been in prison, safety concerns have forced them to move more than five times.
As Asia’s life hangs in the balance, her situation remains as volatile as ever. Please remember to pray for her safety, as well as the safety of her friends and family, and pray that she will ultimately be spared from the sentence of death.
Last but not least, pray that her story of unwavering faith and courage in the midst of harsh persecution will serve as a lasting testimony of God’s love and salvation for millions around the world.
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