Asia Bibi has been found not guilty by the high court of breaking blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Within minutes of her acquittal came riots, protests and demands for her death. If Asia Bibi does not escape Pakistan, she will be killed.
The judges that ruled in her favor are also receiving death threats and calls for them to be murdered. This is not a first in Pakistan, which is why it’s surprising the courts ruled in her favor. In Pakistan, politicians that supported Asia’s release have been murdered in the past.
Shouts of “Friends of blasphemers deserve death” have been the repeated cries from the Pakistani citizens. The judges that overturned her conviction are being guarded day and night.
Shahbaz Bhatti was murdered in 2011 after he defended Asia and called for her release. He was also the only Christian in the entire Pakistani government. He defended her fiercely; and for this crime, he was murdered.
The entire thing started over well water. Asia Bibi was a farmhand and was gathering berries in a field with other women in June of 2009. A Muslim told her to fetch water from the well; and when Asia saw an old metal cup lying on the ground near the well, she filled it and drank from it.
A Muslim woman with whom she was involved in a land dispute became angry and yelled that a Christian contaminated Muslim drinking water. She then yelled to Asia, “You’ve contaminated our water and now you dare speak for the Prophet! Stupid b****, your Jesus didn’t even have a proper father. He was a bastard; don’t you know that?”
It was then demanded that Asia convert to Islam, but Asia stood firm. She responded by saying, “What has Muhammad ever done to save mankind? Jesus died to save mankind; why should I convert and not you?”
The bravery of that statement alone is enormous. What we in the West take for granted can have you killed in other parts of the world. When God told us not to bear false witness, someone like Asia Bibi Noreen is who He had in mind. That simple statement ended with the Muslim woman claiming Asia blasphemed against Muhammad. She had allegedly blasphemed Allah and Muhammad in the largest Muslim country in the world. A mob showed up at her home days later, and she was beaten and arrested. The local Imam told her she could convert to Islam or die. She refused to deny Jesus.
Suddenly more Muslims either heard her speak this blasphemy or they said she admitted it to them. Highly unlikely. Even the local police were of no assistance; they also persecuted her.
A police officer, Muhammad Ilyas, claimed that Asia said “the Quran is fake, and your prophet remained in bed for one month before his death because he had worms in his ears and mouth. He married Khadija just for money; and after looting her, kicked her out of the house.”
The bearing of false witness just kept growing to more and more things she allegedly said. Asia has denied them all since her arrest in 2009.
Within days of her blasphemy accusations and her repeated refusals to deny Jesus, a local Muslim leader began speaking of her blasphemy from the loudspeakers of the mosques, where all Muslims hear and listen. They were told that a Christian woman had spoken the most blasphemous words against the prophet Muhammad. This started a firestorm; it soon spread throughout Pakistan’s enormous population that a Christian woman committed blasphemy against their beloved prophet; how dare she. Calls for her death ignited all over; riots and protests began. Asia thought surely she would be killed before night’s end. She did not think she would be alive for nine days, let alone nine long years confined to a prison.
By November of the next year, and to her surprise, she was still alive but still imprisoned. That month, she was found guilty and was ordered to be executed.
After the sentencing, Asia said, “I cried alone, putting my head in my hands. I can no longer bear the sight of people full of hatred, applauding the killing of a poor farm worker. I no longer see them, but I still hear them, the crowd who gave the judge a standing ovation, saying: ‘Kill her, kill her! Allahu Akbar!’ The courthouse is invaded by a euphoric horde who break down the doors, chanting: ‘Vengeance for the holy prophet. Allah is great!’ I was then thrown like an old rubbish sack into the van… I had lost all humanity in their eyes.”
Salmaan Taseer, who was the governor of Punjab and also a Muslim, fought for her and said that Asia would probably be pardoned if the High Court did not suspend the sentence. Taseer was also outspoken against the blasphemy laws. He was murdered by his own bodyguard in Islamabad, shot more than two dozen times with an AK-47. The assassin became a superstar, while religious leaders all over Pakistan declined to perform Taseer’s service.
Her appeals had been ongoing for years, which is typical in Pakistan. Most end up dying in prison. In the 48 hours since her acquittal, signs calling for her beheading have popped up all over. She has had a bounty on her head since 2010. I fear that it’s not if they get to her; it’s a matter of when. Millions and millions of Muslims, this week alone, said they would personally risk death to kill her. They feel they will be rewarded by Allah.
In part, the court’s ruling states: “According to the Holy Qur’an, a Muslim’s faith is not complete till he believes in all the Holy Prophets and Messengers of Almighty Allah including Jesus Christ (Isa son of Maryam) (Peace Be Upon Him) and all the revealed Holy Books of Almighty Allah including the Holy Bible. From that perspective, insulting the appellant’s religion by her Muslim co-workers was no less blasphemous. — Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Senior Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
This is surprising, but in the grand scheme of things, maybe not so much. This is promoting Isa, the Muslim Jesus. This seems to be an opening happening all over where the world’s religions all find one thing in common – Jesus, being the Son of Mary, a great prophet, not the Son of God.
The high court also said they believed the Muslim women themselves broke Islamic law.
We all know it’s wrong to lie. Even if you’re not a Christian, you have some recognition that lying about someone else just isn’t something you should do. Bearing false witness in places like Pakistan is a death sentence. Even though Asia has been acquitted, the mob will kill her if they get to her.
Right now she is in an undisclosed location, as is her family. Her family was essentially on the run after Asia was arrested in 2009. Her young daughters were beaten when the mob came looking for her.
God set Pastor Brunson free; He can set Asia free. He can help her find safe passage from the country if it’s His will. I pray it is.
America was meant for immigrants just like Asia. While Obama let Muslims from violent and war-torn nations flood in, it’s the Asia’s of the world he, and the rest of the West, dismissed.
In Nigeria, Christians are under extreme persecution. Thousands of men, women and children have been murdered in recent years by Boko Haram, a militant Islamic group, and other Muslims throughout the country. The murders are barbaric. Nigeria is one of the most dangerous countries in which to be a Christian. Boko Haram made headlines when they kidnapped 400 Christian schoolgirls. Since that time, 399 of those girls denounced Jesus and eventually returned home. One lone girl remains because she refuses to deny Jesus. Leah Sharibu will not be released until she denies Him, but she’s steadfast in her faith. The unspeakable torture and abuse she has endured in unimaginable.
Iran has a torture factory for Christians called the “black hole of evil.” They have completely outlawed Christianity. If a Christian is arrested, this is where he is sent. He will be tortured for months. If the torture isn’t bad enough, the Christian loses everyone and everything. Families shun them and friends stop speaking to them; this probably makes it unbearable. They endure years of torture and emotional abuse for refusing to deny Jesus.
In China, Christianity is also outlawed and punishable by torture, being shunned and ostracized, sent to reeducation camps, jailed, fired from jobs and being evicted from homes. The persecution of Christians right now is at its highest level in decades. Churches are being destroyed, Bibles burned and Christians arrested. One pastor was told to mount a facial recognition camera facing the congregation. He refused, and his church was closed down. The pastors that did agree to mount the cameras saw one hundred Christians sent to reeducation camps.
In North Korea, Christianity is outlawed also. The punishment is torture and death. You must worship one person in North Korea, Kim Jong-un. There are a couple of old churches, but they are as fake as the fruit stands – for show to visitors only. Surprisingly, it’s not a Muslim nation that Open Doors has labeled the most oppressive country in which to be a Christian; it’s North Korea for the past 17 years. The NK gulag system is where a Christian will end up.
Christians are forced to stand on their tiptoes in water that reaches to their nose for hours on end. There are numerous barbaric punishments for anyone that breaks the law, but especially Christians.
Iraq, surprisingly under Saddam Hussein, had more Christians living there. One of his closest advisors was a Christian. Iraq, considered the cradle of civilization, once boasted a large Christian population, but it has dwindled substantially over the last decade. Where Christians were once relatively safe to worship, now they face death. These same Middle Eastern countries, before Islam, had numerous Christians. They have been executed or fled for their lives.
Asia Bibi isn’t the only Christian facing severe persecution; there are thousands across the world. In the US, we face our own persecution, but not on the scale we see across the world. There are thousands of Christian women and girls being held as slaves, and their only hope is Jesus Christ.
Will you stand firm for Jesus like Asia and countless others have? If it’s your neck or your family’s neck literally on the line, will you stand for Him? It’s easy to say we will when we are not under constant threat of death. As Jesus said while praying in the garden, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Peter was willing to defend Him and not deny Him, but He also denied Him out of fear, the same fear we face today. As Jesus prayed and wept in the garden, He wanted the disciples to stay awake with Him, to pray. The disciples could not stay awake, even in Jesus’s time of need and comfort. He was God in the flesh, but again, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Will you stand for Him in a time when we Christian warriors are needed most?
If He can stand for you, then you must have the faith and courage to stand for Him! It doesn’t matter if it’s in your own country or across the world. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. Perilous times are coming; are you ready to stand strong?
If you deny Him, He will deny you. Put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18). Stand at watch for our Lord and Savior, because it’s not if He returns; it’s when.
Asia has had the courage to stand for Christ; she refused to back down. Will you be like Asia? Pray for her! She is in danger. She needs the prayers from Christian warriors, now more than ever!
The first time He was here, he was led like a lamb to the slaughter. When He returns, He will be the Lion of Judah. He will separate the wheat from the chaff. He will separate those with His seal from those who reject Him. The King is coming; are you ready? GET READY.
President Trump should immediately offer Asia and her family asylum. Send a email to President Trump asking him to help Asia today! You can also call.