Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pray for Asia Bibi

In one of my Palmer Theological Seminary Personal Transformation classes two of my students were pastors from Pakistan. Among our many discussions was Pakistan's infamous and evil "blasphemy law." The pastors told me that anyone could report a Christian to the police if they wanted to accuse them of blaspheming Mohammed. As a Jesus-follower it hurts, at times, when someone mocks Jesus. But I'm not to execute them for that, since my Jesus was already himself executed out of love for those who blaspheme him.

Not so with Pakistani Muslims. Consider the case of Jesus-follower Asia Bibi. "Bibi, who has been jailed for nearly 15 months, was convicted in a Pakistani court earlier this month of breaking the country's controversial blasphemy law by insulting Islam's Prophet Mohammed, a crime punishable with death or life imprisonment, according to Pakistan's penal code. She was sentenced to death."

"Prosecutors say Bibi, a 45-year-old field worker, insulted the Prophet Mohammed after she got into a heated argument with Muslim co-workers who refused to drink from a bucket of water she had touched because she is not Muslim. In a brief news conference at the prison where she's being held, Bibi said last weekend that the allegations against her are lies fabricated by a group of women who don't like her. "We had some differences and this was their way of taking revenge," she said."

Soon Bibi will stand before the Pakistani High Court. President Asif Ali Zardari said will pardon her if the High Court did not grant her request for mercy." Thank you! But, if he pardons her, inter-religious tensions will erupt into violence, say two prominent Pakistani Muslim leaders. ""If the president pardons Asia Bibi, we will raise our voices across the country until he is forced to take his decision back," nationally known mufti Muneer Ur Rehman said. Hafiz Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer, a leading cleric in Lahore, said pardoning the woman would be "criminal negligence" and would cause inter-religious tension."

Enter evil.

Pray for Asia Bibi.