By Michal Ortner
Asia Bibi, a Pakistan citizen and mother of five, remains on death row for her unwavering affiliation with the Christian church. As a follower of Christ, Bibi faces extreme opposition from the Maulvis—clerics who believe that she deserves death for her religious beliefs.
According to her husband, this group has promised 10,000 RS to 500,000 RS (that is between 150 to almost 8,000 US Dollars) for the murder of Bibi.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan may acquit Bibi of her charges, but the Maulvis group is planning to take justice into their own hands if that is the case.
“I am planning our protection. If she is set free, I hope we’re moved to a safer country, as Pakistan cannot protect her,” her husband stated.
“She’s not made any mistake. We all know she’s not committed any crime. We all know how Pakistan treats Christians. She was framed, she never committed any crime,” he added.
The Pakistani punishment for those who “defile the sacred name of the Holy Prophet” is life imprisonment or execution. Within the country, many people are convicted on an annual basis, though the death penalty has never officially been carried out by the government.
While a majority of those convicted are released after their appeal, it does not mean that they are safe from the rioters of the community. Many Christians have suffered death by their fellow citizens who believe that they are blasphemers.
Bibi stands trial and is accused of claiming Christianity without denial, and drinking from the cup of a Muslim. Her husband remains hopeful and continues to pray for the safe release of his wife.
“I really love her and miss her presence,” he said of his wife. “I cannot sleep at night as I miss her. I miss her smile; I miss everything about her. She is my soul mate. I cannot see her in prison. It breaks my heart. Life has been non-existent without her. My children cry for their mother, they are broken. But I try to give them hope where I can.”
“She is a very strong woman. She’s not cried in front of me once, just keeps smiling and tells me not to worry. She says she even argues with the other inmates or guards if they say anything to her. She is not the coy type, she’s very bold. She counts the days that pass,” he added.
The American Center for Law and Justice continues to promote stories like Asia Bibi’s in order to bring the rights of Christians worldwide to the center of current world news. The ACLJ is partnering with other groups to help free Bibi and preserve religious freedom across the globe.