Pakistan (MNN) — Thousands of protestors and rioters in Pakistan have converged over the last several days to clamor for Asia Bibi’s execution. Bibi, a Christian wife and mother, has been in prison since 2010 on blasphemy charges.
Last week, the Pakistani Supreme Court heard Bibi’s appeal and reached a decision, but they have not yet released their verdict. In response, protestors and violent rioters took over Lahore and several other cities, smashing buildings in their frenzy and bringing neighborhoods to a standstill.
Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) organized the protests, and radicals have threatened the lives of judges if Bibi is released. So far, nobody has actually been executed in Pakistan for blasphemy.
Bibi’s case points to the vitriol that Pakistani Christians experience every day — both legally and at the hands of their Muslim neighbors.
Jason Woolford with Mission Cry says their ministry has heard firsthand what our Christian brothers and sisters face in Pakistan. “This particular gentleman who is a pastor from Pakistan had written our ministry and said, ‘Listen, we are under major persecution through Islam. There is forced conversion.’”
Woolford reflects, “We can talk about it, but we truly don’t understand that type of persecution where he is literally being threatened. But through all of that, he is still going on and wanting to get the Word of God and get it to people who are Christians there.”
Mission Cry collects used Christian books and Bibles and sends them for free to believers all over the world who need them. They get thousands of requests each week, but this request from the pastor in Pakistan stood out.
“With all of the things he is dealing with as a pastor there, he said, ‘We don’t have the money and we don’t have the resources for Bibles, Christian books, and for books for the kids that we are ministering to.’”
The ministry recently sent him free Christian books and Bibles both for kids and adults. In doing so, these Bibles and books are encouraging believers in their faith and giving them tools to share the Gospel message with others.
“The pictures that we have are just so powerful in seeing him laying these Bibles and Christian books out in his house/church in the middle of Pakistan and seeing the kids’ faces.”
According to Woolford, it’s incredibly humbling “just to see the persecution and the freedoms that he doesn’t have and that he needs to be worried about preaching the Gospel because Muslims…could come in and kill him and his kids. Yet, he is teaching and preaching the Gospel.
“For me and for us that are listening, it’s a good reminder that we need to be more vocal in our faith and our community and our workspaces about what God has done for us. If people like this pastor in Pakistan can do it, we definitely should be doing it.”
If you have any gently used Christian books or Bibles to donate to Mission Cry, you can be an encouragement to fellow believers in other parts of the world.
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“Our biggest needs right now are Bibles and also children’s Bibles,” Woolford shares. “So when people send those to us…we’re able to get those resources and then send them directly. Last year, [we sent] over $13 millions worth of used Bibles and Christian books to 24 different nations and we’re on track to do that again this year.”
Please pray for the men and women suffering for the name of Christ in Pakistan. Ask God to give them the courage to persist under intense persecution, and that through their example, many others would know the Lord’s saving grace. Pray also for Bibi’s freedom.
(Header photo courtesy of The Voice of the Martyrs)