Christian mother, Asia Bibi, has spent the last 5 years on death row in Pakistan after being accused and convicted of blasphemy. Her problems began when she offered water to a fellow human being. Asia herself had drunk from the well, but later she was told that Christians were forbidden to use that well. An argument arose among the women to whom she had offered a drink. They were all Muslim, and they began to make fun of Christians.
In self-defense Asia asked a simple question “Jesus died on the cross for us, what has Mohammed done for you?”
Her Muslim neighbors instantly challenged her comments as blasphemy. The women attacked her and drove her back home. Later, she was brutally beaten and raped. Two of her daughters were also later assaulted.
Due to the culture of Pakistan Christians are considered untouchable. Within the Muslim majority most believe that Christians should be humiliated and shamed. Every Christian who breaks even simple cultural traditions is subject to the charge of blasphemy. Many Christians have been imprisoned on the charge of blasphemy, but most are eventually released. Some have been exonerated, due to evidence that the original charge was made up. Asia Bibi is not the only Christian prisoner in Pakistan, but she is the only one sentenced to death.
Asia Bibi must obtain all her food in prison from family and friends. She must prepare it herself, because if Muslims handle her food she is at risk of being poisoned. The risk that any Muslim will feel free to shame or harm any Christian is rampant in the culture.
When natural disasters strike, such as earthquakes and floods, the Muslim majority receive help from the government to recover from the tragedy and to rebuild their homes. Christians are ignored Mr. Khurram Daud Gill, a social activist in Pakistan said, “We witness that Christian flood victims have been treated as untouchables by the government. The rescue, relief and then rehabilitation work was done unfairly. The district government did not provide adequate machines or cranes to lift the mud from the streets and heavy debris of ruined buildings. None of the high scale government officials visited the victims.”
- For Asia Bibi who remains in prison for alleged blasphemy after her appeal was turned down by the Pakistani High Court
- For the growing number of Christian women and girls who are targets of killings and sexual assault
- That the Taliban will be driven out of the country by government forces
By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at Amazon.com.
Flag of Pakistan
Courtesy of All-Flags-World
Image: Asia Bibi
Used by permission