Sister in Christ in jail

In a sermon recently I referred to Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian condemned to death under that country’s prejudicial blasphemy law.  Voice of the Martyrs describes her plight: 

Asia Bibi, a 37 year-old Pakistani woman from the village of Ittanwali, was arrested by police on Friday, June 19, 2009 and faces possible blasphemy charges.  Asia (also called Asia Noreen) is the wife of 50-year-old Ashiq Masih, and their family is one of only three Christian families in a village of more than 1,500 families.  Many of the local women work on the farm of Muslim landowner Muhammad Idrees, including Asia.  During their work many of the Muslim women have pressured Asia to renounce Christianity and accept Islam.  In June, the pressure became especially strong.

On Friday, June 19, there was an intense discussion among the women about their faith, with the Muslim women telling Asia about Islam.  Asia responded by telling them about her faith in Christ. Asia told the Muslim women Christ had died on the cross for our sins, then asked them what Mohammad had done for them, according to VOM sources.  She told them Jesus is alive, but Mohammad is dead.  “Our Christ is the true prophet of God,” she reportedly told them, “and yours is not true.”

Upon hearing this the Muslim women became angry and began to beat Asia.  Then some men came and took her and locked her in a room.  They announced from mosque loudspeakers that she would be punished by having her face blackened and being paraded through the village on a donkey.  Local Christians informed the police, who took Asia into custody before the Muslims could carry out their plan.  She was held at the police station in Nankana city.  Christians there urged the police not to file blasphemy charges, but police claimed they were under pressure from local Muslim leaders.

The Voice of the Martyrs urges Christians around the world to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.  Further, we call on the Pakistani government to insure that the rights of Christians like Asia are protected.

In addition to praying for Bibi, Facebook accounts have been set up for her and you can friend Bibi.  And we all grasp the enormity of Facebook’s leverage when we look back at the Egyptian revolution.