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Asia's husband and daughters

A Pakistani court has directed the Punjab provincial government and police to permit the father of death row convict Asia Bibi visitation rights, a family lawyer recently announced. The directive comes two days after Soran Masih filed a petition in the Lahore High Court demanding access to his daughter. Prior to this, authorities had repeatedly blocked him from the prison, which is located in the central Pakistani city of Multan, following Asia's conviction for blasphemy.

"Judge Muhammad Anwar ul Haq issued directives to the jail superintendent of Multan and the Home Department to let Soran Masih and his family members see Asia Bibi," the lawyer explains. "We are thankful to the high court for (responding with) swift action to our petition." As a result, Asia's father and other close family members are now able to visit the imprisoned believer and further encourage her during this extremely trying time.

The Christian mother of five has been imprisoned since 2009 for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed -- a charge Asia denies, claiming she was targeted after drinking water from a vessel used by Muslim farm workers. The fellow workers, who say it's forbidden for a Christian to drink water from the same container, have accused Asia of blasphemy. Another appeal has been presented to the Supreme Court regarding her death sentence. Previous reports with additional links (including one leading to an informative video clip) on Asia's case can be reviewed here.

While we can praise God for the court's recent decision to grant visitation rights to Asia's family, please continue to pray that justice will ultimately prevail -- along with a favourable outcome -- regarding the blasphemy charges against her. In the meanwhile, may this lengthy and challenging ordeal that Asia and her family have endured be used by the Lord to raise awareness of the injustice and horrific abuses posed by the country's current blasphemy laws, prompting significant changes in the judicial system for the protection of Christians and citizens of other minority groups.