Persecuted Christian Asia Bibi beaten in prison while awaiting death or pardon for denying Islam
Last week I shared with you the case of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani mother of 5 who has been sentenced to death for denying Muhammad and standing firm in her faith in Jesus Christ. Asia has now been in prison for her faith for a year and a half. She was sentenced last November and is awaiting the verdict on her appeal to the Lahore High Court in Pakistan.
To help pressure the Pakistani government to release and acquit her, a petition which has already gathered just under half a million signatures launched by Voice of the Martyr's is available for you to add you name to at www.callformercy.com.
The full story from last weeks's article
I would like to share a bit more of her story with you now. In early October it was reported that Asia had been beaten by a female prison guard with a strong anti-christian agenda. Prison guards assigned for her safety looked on in silence. Following this it was then reported that Asia's husband, Ashiq Masih, had denied these reports were true and had insisted that Asia is well looked after in prison. It has however emerged that the female guard known as Khadeeja who stands accused of beating Asia has been given a 3 month suspension. This occurred after an intelligence agency informed the Punjab Province Government about the incident that took place in the prison facility which uses CCTV to monitor staff and prisoners. A senior police official later recommended Khadeeja's immediate be removed from service.
Why this suspension and suggestion of removal from service would occur in a facility monitored by surveillance cameras if this guard did not beat Asia has not been explained. However, if this severe attack did not take place the this could be proven by the camera footage.
Furthermore it has now come to light that Asia's husband who was initially reported to have denied the attack is believed to have done so under pressure from prison officials who told him he would have his visitation rights to see his wife taken away if he did not deny the incident.
The prison had initially claimed the incident was a small matter of the guard becoming verbally angry with Asia. However a source said, "Why would the jail superintendent suspend Khadeeja for three months, and why would the inquiry officer recommend her removal from service, if she just 'got angry with Asia' over a minor issue?"
He also stated that, "The jail authorities are trying their best to hush up the matter, as it is a big embarrassment to the government,"
Although the authorities are considering moving Asia to another facility and have maintained that she is being protected with 10 wardens assigned for her safety and having been advised to only eat food given to her by authorised personnel, it is clear that this in itself demonstrates a perceived danger to Asia's life, before the apparent cover- up in a brutal attack against her, in which her assigned security looked on in silence at.
It is vital that we pray for our sister Asia for her protection and for the endurance of her faith in Christ and God's goodness even in this time of severe persecution. Asia is already aware that she may face execution for her death, and daily lives with separation from her husband and 5 children. Please pray for the spiritual wholeness and restoration of this family in this time of brokenness and often despair.
When I wrote the article on Asia's circumstances last week the Call for Mercy petition stood at around 475, 000. It is at this time of writing just under half a million! God is working, believers are praying and hope is growing!! Please sign the petition that will be given to the Lahore High Court to tell them that the world is aware of Asia's unjust situation and mistreatment, and is watching, waiting for them to take the right action and set her free.
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