Asia Bibi has been acquitted by the Supreme Court in Lahore after spending eight years on death row for ‘blasphemy’.
But the move is hugely controversial in this conservative Muslim nation. Already two churches have been attacked and large crowds of protesters have gathered in several cities.
Please pray for Asia and our wider Christian family in Pakistan amid mounting tensions, following Asia’s acquittal.
Concerns are rising for the safety of Asia and her family – and for the wider Christian community. Protesters in the Korangi and Kiamari areas of Karachi have already set fire to two churches and in Karachi there have been calls for more protests after afternoon prayers.
In Islamabad, demonstrators burning tyres blocked highways and roads, while Release contacts say there is a heavy police presence in Youhanabad, a Christian area of Lahore which was the scene of church bombings and riots in 2015.
It is not yet clear when Asia Bibi will be released. She is reported to have told AFP news agency: ‘I can’t believe what I am hearing… I just don’t know what to say. I am very happy.’
- Praise God that Asia has been acquitted and pray she will be reunited with her family soon.
- Please pray for protection for her family, the appeal judges, her lawyer – and for the Christian community in Pakistan. Pray the protests will subside.
- Pray for Muslim hardliners who are angered by Asia’s acquittal because they believe an allegation of blasphemy against someone is enough reason to kill them. Ask God to speak His peace into their anger and zeal. (Find out more about our #Pray50 campaign here.)
(Source: Release contacts)