Pakistanis Call for Death of Christian Mother Asia Bibi as Authorities Order Her to Remain in Country
Early last month, I wrote about Asia Bibi, a Christian mother who had been convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in Pakistan. Since then, Pakistan's Supreme Court acquitted Bibi of the charges and freed her from prison, where she had been since 2010. However, under pressure from Muslim extremists, the Pakistani government is considering revisiting the acquittal. In the meantime, they've ordered her not to leave the country.
For those unfamiliar with the case, Bibi was accused of blasphemy for offering her co-worker a drink of water. Charges of prayer and proselytization were thrown in for good measure, as was her refusal to convert to Islam. Predictably, the young Christian mother was convicted and forced to languish on death row as she appealed her conviction. As I reported in my previous article, an acquittal almost certainly means a death sentence for Bibi:
Pakistan's Supreme Court has never upheld the death sentence in blasphemy cases. The problem, though, is that many of those sentenced to death by lower courts have been subsequently murdered after the country's Supreme Court overturned the sentence. Even if Bibi' sentence is overturned, she will still be in danger.
This is one time where I pray that I am proven 100 percent wrong. Sadly, though, Baptist Press is reporting that Asia Bibi's life is in immediate danger.
Not content to even wait for the review of her acquittal, demonstrators have flooded the streets of Pakistan demanding the death of Asia Bibi. The article goes on to report:
While Bibi's exact location remains undisclosed, the government essentially signed Bibi's death warrant by forbidding her international travel, her supporters said. The nation was said to be paralyzed by street mobs for three days after the verdict, inciting fears of civil war.
Bibi supporter Maulana Sami ul Haq was stabbed to death Nov. 2 at his home in Rawalpindi, according to World Watch Monitor. He became the first high-profile Bibi supporter to be killed since 2011. The mullah was among leading voices calling for Bibi's release during her eight-year ordeal.
The protests prompted by Bibi's acquittal on October 31 have forced schools to close as well as delayed flights and trains around the country. The government has placed Bibi back in prison until the court reviews her case — an imprisonment not legally required in this circumstance according to her lawyer Saif ul-Malook.
Asia Bibi and her family have applied for asylum in several Western countries, including Great Britain and the United States. Shamefully, as of the writing of this article, no government has stepped forward to offer asylum. I'm afraid that unless God miraculously intervenes, Asia Bibi will be murdered in the near future. As I encouraged in my last article, Christians in America need to pray for Asia Bibi as well as her family, friends, and supporters in Pakistan.