ISLAMABAD – Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who had been held on death row in a Pakistan prison for eight years on charges of blasphemy against the Muslim religion, was secretly released during the night of November 7th and spirited away to an undisclosed location.
The British Pakistani Christian Association has been in touch with Mrs. Bibi and her family. The group warns that they “all still face a real and present danger of being killed.”
Although there has been some speculation that she and her family had flown to the Netherlands, officials from the Pakistan Foreign Office have said that she is still in the country in a secure location.
Getting her out of the country will be the next obstacle to overcome.
Missions Box reported earlier this week that “The Pakistani government negotiated with the TLP to cease their protests. That compromise agreement has led to further complications. To get the TLP to cease the riots in the streets, the government agreed to open a review of the Supreme Court’s decision and possibly put Asia Bibi’s name on an “Exit Control List” that would effectively prevent her from leaving the country.”
After restoring calm in the streets, the Supreme Court issued a statement saying, “She is not on the exit control list now. No, we are not going to do that. She has committed no crime. There is no justification for us to put her on that list.”
Leaders of the Muslim TLP have expressed their outrage at the government’s decision to release Mrs. Bibi in violation of the agreement.
Bruce Allen of Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI) indicated that the move from the Punjab prison was made to relocate her to a site where she would able to leave the country.
She still might not be able to leave Pakistan until there is a review of her case based on the agreement that the government had signed a few days ago with the TLP…. Although, all the indications are that she is preparing to do so and going to facilities that will accommodate that.
The concern now is not only for the safety of Asia Bibi and her family but is also for other Christians in Pakistan who may suffer a backlash from the TLP and other Muslim extremists. Bruce Allen advised followers of Jesus to stock up on fuel and food and prepare to stay indoors to be safe from a potential period of protests in the streets.
Should crowds take to the streets in protest, Pakistan’s newly-elected prime minister, Imran Khan, is expected to take immediate action to maintain peace.
Please continue to pray along with us at GFA for Asia Bibi and her family and pray for the safety of the 3.9 million professing Christians in Pakistan.
To read more news on Asia Bibi on Missions Box, go here
- BBC News, Pakistan blasphemy case: Asia Bibi freed from jail
- Mission Network News, Asia Bibi secretly released from prison
- NPR, Asia Bibi, Pakistani Woman Acquitted Of Blasphemy, Is Freed From Jail
- The Telegraph, Asia Bibi flown to secret location after being freed from jail after eight years on death row for blasphemy
- The Australian, Pakistani blasphemy law victim Asia Bibi released
- Lastampa.it, [CC BY-NC-ND 4.0]