Bibi escaped but many others still behind bars in Pakistan

Thursday, May 9, 2019
Charlie Butts (

hands on prison barsA persecuted Christian woman imprisoned in Pakistan has flown to Canada and to freedom.

It has been 10 years since Asia Bibi, while retrieving water from a well in a remote village, argued with Muslim women after drinking water from a cup used only by Muslims.

Bibi was accused of blasphemy by the other women, convicted, and sentenced to death. She has now joined her family in Canada. (See earlier story about Bibi's release)

Sean Nelson, an attorney for Global Religious Freedom at Alliance Defending Freedom, tells OneNewsNow there are many Christians in Pakistan and around the world who are still behind bars for their faith.

“That are still being persecuted for their faith,” he says, “and still being persecuted under blasphemy laws, and unjust blasphemy laws, apostasy laws, anti-conversion [laws], and we have to put a stop to that.”

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently released its annual report declaring Pakistan one of the worst violators. The commission is aware of at least 40 other Christians found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to death or life in prison in Pakistan.

That nation's Supreme Court did finally overturn Bibi's conviction but large mobs attacked and threatened to kill the Christian woman. She was detained in the country, in fact, due to the mob violence and threats against the court.

William Stark of International Christian Concern reminds OneNewsNow that a Muslim bodyguard killed the governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, in 2011 after Taseer publicly criticized the country's blasphemy laws. 

In a separate incident, Christian cabinet minister Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated by Taliban terrorists for his effort to protect minority religions in the country, Stark recalls. 

Editor's Note: Comments from William Stark have been added to this story.

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