Displaying items by tag: Aasia Bibi
She was picking fruit on a sweltering summer’s day in June 2009 with Muslim women when a dispute arose over a shared cup of water because the Muslim women would not drink from a cup that they considered ‘unclean’ as it had been used by a Christian. This culminated in Aasia Bibi being accused of insulting Muhammad. ‘My husband was at work, my kids were in school’, she recalled. ‘A mob came and dragged me away. They made fun of me.’ ‘I am not angry at all, I’ve forgiven everyone from my heart and there is no hardness in me. I learned how to be patient after having to leave my children behind.’ These are the gracious words of Aasia Bibi, the Christian mother-of-five who spent nearly eight years on death row in Pakistan, falsely accused of ‘blasphemy’.
Aasia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian freed from death row last year, has arrived in Canada with her husband to join her daughters. She had suffered repeated death threats from religious extremists when her conviction for blasphemy was quashed. In 2018 the Islamist movement Tehreek-e-Labbaik went on the rampage in Islamabad and Lahore when she was acquitted. Protesters attacked public property and burnt cars. Although Aasia has been released, please continue to pray for the countless, nameless, Christians (and others from minority faiths) still languishing in Pakistan’s prisons after unproven accusations of blasphemy.
Death row Christian Aasia Bibi will be allowed to leave Pakistan, after the country's top court upheld her acquittal on blasphemy charges. Ms Bibi, who spent eight years on death row, will now be free to join her daughters who fled to Canada and were granted asylum there. The 54-year-old was acquitted in October (eight years after she was convicted for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a dispute with her neighbours); but she has remained under guard at a secret place since her acquittal. Prime Minister Imran Khan's government has attempted to quell anger over her exoneration by radical Islamists, who staged nationwide protests and almost brought the capital Islamabad to a standstill. More than 3,000 members of the radical Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) group were arrested on charges of terrorism after the protest, with its leader and high profile members still in prison.
Pakistani Christian mother Aasia Bibi has finally been freed from prison after spending over eight years on death row for allegedly committing ‘blasphemy’ against Islam, but she is not yet free. Government officials confirmed on 8 November that she had been flown to Islamabad under tight security due to radical Muslim death threats against her and her family following the news of her acquittal. While some reports stated that she had left the country, a foreign ministry spokesman said that this was not true. It is unclear what might happen to her, given that Imran Khan’s government has seemingly given way to the huge protests caused by her acquittal on 31 October, and made a deal with the party responsible for organising them. According to that agreement, Aasia would be re-tried by a new supreme court, not including the original three judges.
Last week we prayed again for Aasia Bibi, after she asked for Christians in the UK to intercede for her release from death row in Pakistan. In an extraordinary answer to those prayers, the supreme court has overturned her eight-year death sentence for allegedly blasphemous comments, and she is free. Christians are Pakistan's 'forgotten minority'. The laws are often used to get revenge after personal disputes, and convictions are based on thin evidence. Christians make up just 1.6% of the population. They have been targeted by numerous attacks in recent years, leaving many feeling vulnerable to a climate of intolerance. There are fears that there could be a violent response to her acquittal, and her family fear for their safety. She has been offered asylum by several countries, and will leave Pakistan. Prime minister Imran Khan has called for calm - see
Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman on death row in Pakistan, has urged Christians in the UK to pray for her. The message was conveyed by her husband Ashiq, who has travelled to the UK to highlight her plight. He said to Premier, ‘She told me that the community must remember her in their prayers because this is an international country. I need international pressure for the release of Aasia Bibi.’ He said her incarceration since 2009 has spelt nine years of suffering for the whole family. He added, ‘She always has said that Jesus is her life and she is living in the name of Jesus, and trusting that he will help her.’ For further information about Aasia’s case, see
Reports from Pakistan have prompted fears that British Christian mother-of-five Aasia Bibi, held in prison there for over nine years, is displaying symptoms of dementia. The British Pakistan Christian Association (BPCA) cited a recent visit to Bibi by a Pakistani journalist who suggested her memory, mental sharpness and judgement were in decline. Found guilty of insulting Muhammad and drinking from the same water source as Muslims, she has been in solitary confinement - sentenced to death, despite support from high-profile figures including the Pope. On 8 October a special three-member Supreme Court reserved its judgment on her final appeal against execution. The chief justice warned media against commenting on or discussing the case until the court's detailed judgment has been issued. No date has yet been given for when the verdict will be announced. See
Pakistan came into being in the name of the religion of Islam. Islamisation is integral to government policy. Constitution, laws and policies restrict religious freedom and the government enforces these restrictions. Acts of violence and intimidation against religious minorities by extremists increases and exacerbates existing religious tensions. Extremists in some areas demand that all citizens follow strict versions of Islam, with brutal consequences if they don’t abide by it. Society is deeply opposed to amending the blasphemy laws and some religious leaders use incendiary rhetoric to convince much of the population that any attempt to amend the laws is an attack on the sanctity of Islam. In the name of religion people are silenced by the military, civil bureaucracy, and Jihadists. Issues involving the blasphemy law generate extremist responses. Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman, was sentenced to death in 2010 for blasphemy. Her lawyer says international support is encouraging, but he is not hopeful for clemency. See