After eight years of unjust imprisonment, we rejoice to hear Asia Bibi is no longer on death row but free to leave prison. Under immense pressure of mobs calling for her death and threatening riots, the judge did what his office demanded, overturn a sentence in a case where there was no evidence and procedures had not been followed.
However, this story is not over. Several men who defended her have already died in the years leading up to this case. Her family is now in immediate danger and needs to leave the country as soon as possible. Several countries have offered asylum.
Also, the judge has good reason to fear, as does her lawyer. For extremist Muslims, this is a high-profile defeat and they will not take it easily.
That Pakistan’s justice system was able to stand up to the threats and pressure is a sign of hope for the country’s embattled Christian minority, who have suffered so much injustice and violence. May it be a first step to the abolition of the notorious blasphemy laws, so often used against the innocent.
Please pray for the safety for Bibi’s family, and all involved in her defence. May no more innocent blood be shed in this case, and may God bless the country of Pakistan with peace.
Update: Reports appear in the news of wide spread protests, road being blocked, schools being closed and even that two churches were set on fire. Pakistani believers, while being very happy with this verdict, are bracing for attacks and many closed their businesses for the day. Please pray for them!