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Asia on a rare visit with her girls

Pakistan's Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti has condemned the recent announcement of a reward for killing the jailed Christian woman Asia Bibi, calling it unjust and irresponsible. The Christian Post reported a hard-line imam offered about $6,000 to anyone who kills Asia Bibi should the president pardon her.

Imam Maulana Yousuf Qureshi made his offer during a sermon at the largest mosque in Peshawar. He also threatened the government to not amend or repeal the blasphemy laws "which provide protection to the sanctity of Holy Prophet Muhammad." Qureshi said that if the appeals court judge freed Bibi then Muslim extremists would kill her.

Asia Bibi received a death sentence in November for allegedly speaking badly of Muslim Prophet Muhammad (read more). Her case has sparked international outcry against Pakistan's blasphemy laws, which often are used against religious minorities after a small non-religious-related dispute. The high court has yet to set a date for Bibi's appeals hearing.

Please continue to pray for the safety and protection of Asia, her family and Christians throughout Pakistan. Thank the Lord for Shahbaz Bhatti's willingness to speak publicly in Asia's defence. Pray the Lord will use this case to repeal the blasphemy laws.

To learn more about the persecuted Church in Pakistan, visit 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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