Asia Bibi has been sentenced to be hanged by the Pakistani courts. Bibi was accused by her friends of insulting the prophet Mohammed. She's a Christian in a Muslim-dominated nation and denies making the accusation.
The death sentence has raised outrage internationally from Pope Benedict XVI who called for her case to be dismissed as well as U.S. lawmakers and international advocacy groups such as the Masihi Foundation. Haroon Barkat, director of the Masihi Foundation told the Fides News Agency, "We continue to hope because, as Christians, our faith nourishes hope. We continue to pray for Asia Bibi and for her release, so that the Lord protects and comforts her. But there are many elements that are not conducive to optimism."
Barket added that, "international pressures and mobilization can be useful", but above all "the political will of the government and of the highest authorities in Pakistan is needed" if one wants to put an end to a history marked by obvious injustices." Jay Sekulow's American Center for Law and Justice is soliciting signatures for a petition that calls for Bibi's freedom.
Bibi has been imprisoned for 5 years. "I've been locked up, handcuffed and chained, banished from the world and waiting to die. I don't know how long I've got left to live. . . . My life is in God's hands . . . ." she has said. She has 30 days to appeal the death sentence.
"This is a grave injustice," David Griffiths, Amnesty International's deputy Asia Pacific director told Fox News. "Asia Bibi should never have been convicted in the first place – still less sentenced to death – and the fact that she could pay with her life for an argument is sickening." He added that the blasphemy laws being used to prosecute Bibi violate international law.
Leilani Haywood is the editor of Spirit Led Woman. She's an award-winning writer and frequent contributor to Charisma.