Urgent Prayer Request!
Human rights advocates and concerned individuals worldwide have spoken out on behalf of Asia Bibi, the 45-year-old Christian wife and mother who earlier this month became the first woman in Pakistan to be sentenced to death on blasphemy charges.Bibi has been imprisoned since June 2009, after she was accused of allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed while attempting to share her faith with several Muslim co-workers, who had been pressuring Bibi for months to convert to Islam.
Even as Bibi’s lawyers began working to overturn the verdict, her death sentence shocked thousands of people around the world — including Pope Benedict and even Muslim scholars — who have called for her release through online petitions and official appeals to the Pakistani government. The law of blasphemy that has kept Bibi in prison for the past 15 months has been widely criticized as being a tool to promote oppression and discrimination against religious minorities, particularly Christians, in Pakistan.
According to reports from CNN and The New York Times, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will likely pardon Bibi after completion of a full investigation by Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistani Minister for Minority Affairs.CFI wishes to thank the over 3,000 supporters who signed CFI’s petition to free Asia Bibi, which was directed to U.N. Representative Susan Rice last week. Our combined efforts in this case have been a great reminder that we can make a difference for who are persecuted for their faith.
Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family, as well as for the thousands of other Christians who suffer in Pakistan.
Urgent Request for Prayer for Asia Bibi
The following is an urgent prayer request from our CFI Pakistani coworkers in Lahore, Pakistan.
A few days ago, Shahbaz Bhatti, the Federal Minister for Minorities, presented an urgent appeal to Asif Ali Zardari, the President of Pakistan, asking him for forgiveness for Asia Bibi and requesting the suspension of her death sentence and imprisonment. The appeal also recommended that security be provided to Asia Bibi while she is in prison and to her family.
Asif Ali Zardari responded by asking Shahbaz Bhatti to form a committee that would make recommendations regarding Asia Bibi and what steps the government should take to prevent Asia Bibi from the death sentence and to stop the growth of misuse of Blasphemy Law.
We request to all our Christian brothers and sisters living in America and around the world to please pray that the Pakistani government actually do something and declare the freedom of our Christian sister Asia Bibi, and not just talk about it. We also request you to pray that the Pakistani government agrees to the elimination of the Blasphemy Law rather than just prevent its misuse. We thank you so much for your prayers and all who signed the petition for the release of Asia Bibi.
Sincerely in Christ,
CFI coworkers in Pakistan
If you have not signed the petition, please do so.