Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman on death row for blasphemy since 2010, has won her final appeal.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar announced the decision on 31 October, saying, “The appeal is allowed. She has been acquitted.”
He added, “Asia Bibi is to be released immediately if not involved in any other case.”
She is expected to be freed from prison soon, but there are still fears for her personal safety. Her case has divided Pakistan and many people believe that she should die.
The decision was met with protests from members of the Islamic party (TLP) and other groups.
“Will They Let Me Out, Really?”
Asia Bibi received the news with apparent disbelief, according to the French news agency AFP.
“I can’t believe what I am hearing, will I go out now? Will they let me out, really?” AFP quoted her as saying by phone from jail, “I just don’t know what to say, I am very happy, I can’t believe it.”
“Be Imitators Of Christ”
In Pakistan, church leaders have asked their fellow Christians to behave in a manner worthy of Christ. One church leader said:
“We call on Christians across the country and around the world to pray and proclaim. To demand our right to justice, but to do so in a manner befitting Christians committed to be imitators of Christ.”
He continued, “These groups are on high alert and will be watching for any way to increase the pressure against Aisa Bibi, Christians and the Church… We are a match, as a praying people let us trust God and ensure that we demonstrate Him and His Good News at this time.
“Be watchful, vigilant and calm. God be with us all, to Him be all the Glory.”
“It’s been a long long journey.”
A team member from one of our local partners in Pakistan sent us this message:
“I am crying. It’s been a long long journey…. We can’t believe as a team she is free.” She said, “The women in our office fell down and worshipped. God is in control. God has not left us. God’s hope remains in this land. Hallelujah. Today not only Asia was released, we all were. A God of mercy and without injustice, good and upright is He.”
The news of Asia Bibi’s release is particularly good news for Christian women in Pakistan. Our local partner previously told us,
“There are thousands of Christian women who have felt the stigma of a physical prison. But thousands more live in an emotional prison, a prison of fear and lack of self worth. A prison that no one sees. This is a prison into which only Jesus can step. Only He can release thousands of Pakistani Christian women who live in the fear of the Blasphemy law and abuse across Pakistan, every day.”
- Praise God that Asia Bibi has been released!
- Pray for safety for Asia, her family and Christians in Pakistan as tensions increase.
- Pray for peace to reign in Pakistan, and for many people to know Jesus and His love.
Stay updated with news from the persecuted church.
Source: World Watch Monitor