2015-04-06 16:10:00

Asia Bibi asks the prayers of Pope Francis

Asia Bibi, the Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan for alleged blasphemy, has asked Pope Francis to pray for peace in the world and for her.  The wife and mother, ‎condemned to death in November 2010, was alleged to have blasphemed Islam after co-workers ‎objected to her drinking out of their water glasses because of her Christian faith.  “Vatican Insider” reported that her husband Ashiq and Joseph Nadeem, director of Lahore’s Renaissance Education Foundation, which is providing legal assistance to Asia Bibi and support to her family, visited her on Holy Thursday in Multan prison, to celebrate a brief moment of prayer ahead of Easter.  “At Easter, Jesus Christ gives us an example of peace and forgiveness. All of us must learn from the teaching and sacrifice of Christ who was crucified for us and who forgave all those who harmed him. On this special day I ask Christians in Pakistan to live and pray for peace,” Asia Bibi told the two.  “Asia is ok both physically and mentally,” Nadeem told ‘Vatican Insider’ after meeting her. “She spends her days between pain and hope, a hope rooted in Christ which does not abandon her,”  Nadeem said, adding “Asia seemed very worried after the attacks on churches in Youhanabad, she was especially concerned for her family. She asked us at the Foundation to guarantee her husband and children’s safety. We are doing all that we can.”  Nadeem said that Pope Francis’ is always in Asia’s mind.  “I ask the Pope to send out a special prayer for peace in the world and for me,” Asia Bibi said feeling moved. Asia is spending Easter clinging onto the Word of God and to prayer, Praying and hoping for a resurrection, which in her case – a convicted innocent woman – means freedom.

Meanwhile, action is being taken around the world in support of her case. Ahead of the first hearing before the Pakistani Supreme Court, the Paris City Council remembered Asia’s suffering voted unanimously in favour of mayor Anne Hidalgo’s proposal to make the Pakistani woman an honorary citizen of the city of Paris.   An online petition promoted by an English university student to save Asia Bibi managed to gather half a million signatures.

Asia Bibi’s death sentence was confirmed on 16 October 2014 by the Lahore High Court. Her case has become symbolic in the battle against Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law which is often used for personal revenge and to strike out against religious minorities.

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