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PAKISTAN: Asia Bibi’s Appeal to be Heard in October

PAKISTAN: Asia Bibi’s Appeal to be Heard in October

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam, will fight for her freedom in court in October.

Bibi was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 after Muslim women told a cleric in a village in the eastern Punjab province that she had made “derogatory remarks” about the prophet.

Since her arrest in 2009, the international community has pressured Pakistan’s strict government, calling for her release and reforms to the blasphemy laws.

Asia’s appeal was scheduled for 26 March of this year. However, rising tensions and protests against her appeal from Pakistan’s Muslim community delayed her appeal until October.

As Bibi has been sitting in prison for over six years, reports have indicated that the health of the 51-year-old mother has been deteriorating.

As the blasphemy law in Pakistan is often abused by Muslims to settle personal scores with Christians and other religious minorities, international religious freedom advocates have asserted that the charge against Bibi is trumped up and have called for the Pakistani government to immediately release her.

Sources: CBN News, The Christian Post

 Prayer Points

  • Pray the Lord will grant favour to Asia Bibi and her legal representatives.
  • Pray for justice for Asia and her family; may the court be impartial and not be swayed by prejudicial arguments or protests.
  • Pray for Asia’s health and protection, and that of her family. Pray that if she is set free she will be protected from those wishing to take ‘justice’ into their own hands.

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INDIA: Christians Fear Ban on Religious Conversions

INDIA: Christians Fear Ban on Religious Conversions

Lawmakers in India are planning to introduce a bill that will ban religious conversion, prompting Christians to express concern that the proposed law will lead to further attacks and persecution targeting them in the mainly Hindu nation.

The legislative proposal, ironically called the “Religious Freedom Bill,” seeks to “prohibit conversion from one religion to another by the use of force or allurement or by fraudulent means.”

Indian parliamentarians plan to define “force” to include the threat of injury “including threat of divine displeasure.”

Under this definition, the bill will outlaw basic Christian doctrines, such as salvation, heaven and hell.

Many Christians fear that the law will be used to target Christian leaders and as a way to justify attacks on Christians after the fact. In states where similar laws are already on the books, attacks on Christians using the anti-conversion laws are common.

Source: International Christian Concern

Prayer Points

• Ask God to prevent this new bill from being passed by the Indian government.
• Pray that Indian Christians will not be deterred from sharing the good news of the Gospel with others and for encouragement and perseverance for those who have already suffered persecution for their witness.
• Pray that many Hindus, in a culture of many gods, will be drawn to Jesus Christ and eagerly accept His truth.