Christian Mother Asia Bibi, Sentenced to Die, Receives Gift – a Symbol of Faith – from the Pope While Awaiting Appeal
In the darkest circumstances, even a small symbol of faith can deliver so much hope and comfort.
We’ve continually kept you up-to-date about our international legal advocacy in support of Christian mother of five, Asia Bibi. Asia is currently locked in prison in Pakistan, sentenced to death for blasphemy. Her real “crime” was that she offered a Muslim co-worker a glass of water and reaffirmed her faith in Christ when the co-worker asked her to convert to Islam.
Throughout her plight, locked away from her family and loved ones in a windowless cell, Asia has continued to cling to her Christian faith, even if renouncing it may have helped her case. Recently, it was revealed that the prison authorities have allowed her to keep a rosary given to her by Pope Francis. It is the first symbol of her faith she’s been allowed to keep in prison.
According to The Christian Post, Bibi’s husband and daughter were granted an audience with the Pope earlier this year:
The meeting between Bibi's family and the pope was organized by Aid to the Church in Need. The rosary was finally given to Bibi when the husband and daughter met with her last Monday, according to the charity's Italian branch.
"I received the pope's gift with devotion and gratitude," Asia Bibi reportedly told Aid to the Church in Need.
Bibi said the rosary gives her "great consolation" because it brings her great comfort to know that Francis is praying for her.
The "rosary will be of great consolation for me, just as it comforts me to know that the Holy Father prays for me and thinks of me in these difficult conditions," Bibi added.
It is our hope that this gift is a sign that international leaders of all denominations, are not only praying for Asia, but have become aware of this clear human rights violation. An innocent woman should not hang because of her Christian faith. Sadly, hers is one of many violent and atrocious acts committed against Christians in Pakistan. Many have already died violently at the hands of extremists, while more are terrorized and driven from their homes.
The ACLJ will continue to work on behalf of Asia Bibi, as we wait for her appeal to be heard by the Pakistani court. We have mobilized our European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) and our office in Pakistan as part of our international advocacy campaign calling for Asia Bibi’s release.
We will also continue to appeal to the U.N. to intercede with Pakistan and demand that they abide by their international agreements to protect religious minorities and bring violent agitators to justice.
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