I received this Prisoner Release update in an email from The Voice of the Martyrs Canada. Please read Asia’s story and pray for her and her family. This young wife and mother was arrested since 2009 and has been in prison until now. Imagine being separated from your family, anxiously awaiting an appeal only to have it postponed. Pray that neither Asia nor her family will be discouraged by this major setback.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28. God has plans for Asia just as He had plans for Joseph who was falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison. God was with him all the time he was there just as He is with Asia.
I encourage you to visit the prayer wall and pray for Asia and other Christians like her who are being persecuted and imprisoned for their faith and the families of those brave men and women who have died for their faith.
PAKISTAN: Asia Bibi’s Appeal Hearing Postponed
Sources: Asia News, Release International
Remember in prayer
Asia’s husband and children.
The appeal hearing for Asia Bibi, a Christian woman imprisoned for blasphemy, has been postponed “to a later date.” Asia was arrested in 2009 on charges of insulting Mohammed and later sentenced to death. Since then, she has been waiting for her appeal to be heard while being held in isolation at the women’s prison in Sheikhupura (Punjab). (For more on Asia’s case, click here.)
Initially scheduled for March 17th, Asia’s first hearing was cancelled due to the absence of one of the two presiding judges. Under Pakistani law, two judges have to be present in death penalty cases for the entire trial.
The high-profile case remains hugely controversial in Pakistan. The former Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, was killed by his bodyguard in January of 2011 after showing support for Asia. Then, two months later, Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian, was assassinated after voicing support for Asia and demanding reform of the country’s blasphemy laws. Shahbaz’s brother is now facing death threats. (For more on these threats, click here.) Late last year, Pakistan’s Federal Sharia Court demanded that blasphemy should carry a mandatory death sentence.
After this disappointing setback, pray that the Lord will continue to sustain Asia and her loved ones as they await the appeal hearing. May the judges and other authorities pursue justice, and may they also be protected from those who wish them harm as a result. Ask God to use this case for His good purposes, transforming the hearts and lives of those who do not yet know Him and encouraging believers to be courageous in their faith.
To share your prayers for Asia and her family, please visit our Persecuted Church Prayer Wall.