Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam, will fight for her freedom in court this October. Asia was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 after Muslim women told a cleric in a village of the eastern Punjab province that she had made "derogatory remarks" about the prophet.
Since her arrest in 2009, the international community has pressured Pakistan's strict government, calling for Asia's release and reforms to be made to the blasphemy laws. Although her appeal was scheduled for March 26th of this year, rising tensions and protests against it from Pakistan's Muslim community delayed the hearing until October.
Asia has been sitting in prison for almost seven years, and reports have indicated that the health of the 51-year-old mother has been deteriorating. As the blasphemy law in Pakistan is often abused by Muslims to settle personal scores with Christians and other religious minorities, international religious freedom advocates have asserted that the charge against Asia is trumped up and have called for the Pakistani government to immediately release her. For previous reports on Asia's ongoing case, click here.
Ask that the Lord will grant favour to Asia and her legal representatives as they mediate for justice and mercy on her behalf. May the court be impartial and not be swayed by prejudicial arguments or protests, nor respond in fear to opposing militants. Continue to pray for Asia's health and protection, as well as the safety of her family and all who are trying to assist her. Intercede for the Pakistanis who are wishing her harm by wrongfully taking "justice" into their own hands. Pray that they would be under the conviction of the one true God who longs for His love and salvation to be experienced by all of humanity (John 3:16).