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Asia Bibi's family

A court in Pakistan has told the country's president that he cannot grant a pardon to Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who was sentenced to death for "blasphemy" against Muhammad (click here to read more). International Christian Concern (ICC) reports the Lahore High Court issued the order after lawyers argued that the president cannot issue the pardon before Asia's appeal to the High Court is decided.

ICC says Asia has appealed to the High Court for the reversal of her death sentence, but the court has yet to set a date for an appeal hearing. Pakistan's Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, said that President Asif Ali Zardari has pledged to intervene if the High Court unnecessarily delays deciding Asia's case. The president also asked Bhatti to investigate Asia's case, and Bhatti found her to be innocent.

Under Article 45 of Pakistan's constitution, the president has authority to free convicts. Meanwhile, ICC says fundamentalist Muslims have stepped up their threats against the Pakistani officials, warning that there will be anarchy if Asia is pardoned.

Thank the Lord for the president's willingness to intervene. Pray for Asia's release in the Lord's good timing, pray that He will use Asia's case to highlight the flaws of these infamous blasphemy laws in Pakistan and bring about change. Ask God to protect her and her family and all Christians in the area.

Find out more about the treatment of believers in Pakistan by visiting the Pakistan Country Report.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC partners to train Christian women in sewing skills throughout Pakistan to provide a sustainable source of income for their families and encourage them in their faith and witness for Christ.

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Women’s Ministry

Country Information

Population
238,181,034 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Punjabi (44.7), Pashtun [Pathan] (15.4), Sindhi (14.1), Saraiki (8.4) Muhajirs (7.6) Balochi (3.6), Other (6.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (96.5), Other - Christian and Hindu (3.5)

Leader
President Arif Alvi (2018)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Common law system with Islamic law influence

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Pakistan

Pray that amendments will be made to Pakistan's existing blasphemy laws so that the country's citizens – including its children – will be protected from injustice and abuse. May our Lord's mercy and justice prevail, not only in the judiciary system but also in the hearts of the country's militants. Ask Him to transform their "hearts of stone" into hearts that are receptive to His love, mercy and the workings of His Holy Spirit – not only for the purpose of protecting the Christian minority but also for the salvation of their own eternal souls.

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