June marked the completion of nine years in prison for Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman. In June 2009, Asia Bibi was accused of blaspheming the prophet Mohammad and sentenced to death by hanging. Now, nine years later, Asia Bibi is still in prison and Christians around the world continue to appeal for her release.
“Before her arrest, Asia Bibi worked on the farm of a Muslim landowner named Mohammad Idrees,” Voice of the Martyrs board chair Hyun Sook Foley explains. “Many of the women she worked alongside were Muslims and they regularly pressured Asia Bibi to renounce Christianity and become Muslim. The women had an intense discussion about Islam. Asia Bibi responded, ‘Christ died on the cross for our sins, what has Mohammad done for us?’”
According to board chair Foley, the Muslim women were outraged by this and began to beat Asia Bibi. Then some men took and locked her in a room. Local police then arrested Asia Bibi. Seventeenth months later, she was convicted of violating Pakistan’s blasphemy law and was sentenced to death by hanging.
“When the church around the world heard about Asia Bibi’s situation, there was a global outcry on her behalf,” board chair Foley explains. “Now, nine years later, likely due in part to that continuing outcry, Asia Bibi remains alive.”
According to Premier News, Asia Bibi’s husband says, “Asia believes she will be set free and her face is unquestionable, unshakeable! She is extremely proud of her Christian faith and would never deny God.”
Board chair Foley says, “Asia Bibi has been in prison for nine years, but God has used every second of that time to bring much-needed attention to the persecution being experienced by our brothers and sisters in Pakistan. Asia Bibi continues to be the voice of Christ in her prison, in her country, and around the world.”
To learn more about the persecution facing Christians like Asia Bibi in Pakistan, read Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s Pakistan Country profile [link to Pakistan Country profile]. You can also visit the Voice of the Martyrs Korea website (www.vomkorea.kr) to read the profiles of the more than 70 other countries around the world where Christians are persecuted.