Asia Bibi: failing health on death row in Pakistan

By June 25, 2015
Asia Bibi

Asia Bibi

Pakistan (MNN) — Her story reads like a conspiracy theory novel. The main character is a 50-year-old woman, falsely accused. She languishes in jail for six years, charged and convicted of a federal crime with no evidence, and no recourse.

The problem is: it’s not fiction. It’s Asia Bibi’s story. Bruce Allen with Forgotten Missionaries International says the mother of five was accused of blasphemy in Pakistan. Voice of the Martyrs USA recounts the early part of the case:

On June 19, 2009 there was an intense discussion among the women about their faith. The Muslim women told Asia about Islam, and, according to VOM sources, Asia responded by telling the Muslim women that Jesus is alive. “Our Christ sacrificed His life on the cross for our sins…. Our Christ is alive.”

That led to a beating and a blasphemy accusation. In November 2010, Bibi was convicted under the blasphemy penal code, and sentenced to death. An appeal has been filed with the Supreme Court, but there’s no word on how soon the case will be heard.

Time is running out for Bibi, says Allen. “She’s suffering from internal bleeding. She requires urgent medical treatment. She vomits blood. She suffers terrible pain, and she can hardly eat.” In the meantime, “Here’s this woman, languishing in a prison under this death sentence for a crime that she vehemently denies.”

(Photo courtesy CallforMercy.com)

(Photo courtesy CallforMercy.com)

Multiple news sources indicate her lawyers have requested that officials move Asia to a prison in Lahore, which would make it easier for her to receive medical treatment, as well as see her family more often.

If nothing else, Bibi’s case serves as an international focal point for justice for minority Christians. Allen explains, “Under the current law, the abuses are enormous against religious minorities in Pakistan.” For example, they have been and can be used to settle personal scores between neighbors. The accused have little hope of defending themselves because the charge of blasphemy by a Muslim usually serves as sufficient evidence of the crime.

Although there is a reform effort underway, there’s a long way to go yet to get the bill signed into law. Allen also considers the possibility of increased harassment and outright persecution in the days ahead. “If the law is going to be changed into a better thing, potentially, they may say, ‘Well, now is the time that we have to take action while THIS is still the current law and it is easy to abuse.'”

pakistan1In the meantime, more than 150,000 Christians have signed a petition demanding justice for persecution victims, including Asia Bibi. The Voice of the Martyrs and other Pakistani brothers and sisters in Christ are lifting their voices in a call for mercy.  They’re hoping to gather a million signatures on her behalf. (Click here for the petition).

Allen says Bibi is not alone. In the days ahead, he’s asking you to pray for Christians in Pakistan. Between Ramadan and the disturbances generated by the reforms, “Pray for the Christians in the area to remain steadfast, that they would experience God’s protection and provision.”

Their work will continue on. Many people are coming to saving faith in Christ through the ministry of nearly 30 national pastors and evangelists, supported by FMI who often maintain ministries in multiple cities and rural villages. FMI also provides tangible support, such as bicycles for pastors’ transportation, materials for church site construction, and helps maintain a network of safe houses for persecuted believers.

7 Comments

  • rush says:

    The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
    he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
    He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
    Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
    I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

    You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
    You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
    Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
    and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever. In the resurrection power of Yashuah I pray for Asia Bibi…Amen

  • Gail says:

    Only the Living and Loving Christ could have sustained Asia and countless others. Let us continue to plead for our brothers and sisters in chains.

  • To God”s little flock in Pakistan : ” And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

  • Tami Carter says:

    My family & I have been praying for Asia for the entire time she has been in prison. Day & night we have cried out to God for either her release, or for the Good Lord to take her home with Him. If this is God’s will then He has answered our prayers in this way, certainly there is no better place to be than in the arms of our precious Lord & Savior. Until the Lord answers this prayer one way or another we will pray for comfort from this terrible pain she is in, & for her to continue to be a faithful servant of Jesus Christ, showing love to her enemies & those imprisoned with her, including the quards in the prison. We pray especially that her family will feel God’s constant comfort & peace. Dear sister Asia, I cannot wait to meet you in heaven, until then we will continue day & night to pray for God to lift you up & provide everything you need, until He returns or calls us home God be so real to you.

  • Anita says:

    You are not forgotten, Asia. Your family either, and all those who are being persecuted because they bear His name. We don’t know how easy we have it.

  • Pat says:

    Many, many are praying for you Asia. Know that God is with you no matter what happens to you — He is your strength and shield and glory. He knows and loves you AND your family! He will reward all of you and be glorified because of you!

  • I think about you all the the time, Asia. I know God is there all the time day and night watching out for you and His Angels surrounding you. May God minister to the Christians in Pakistan and all over that country. Amen

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