Thursday, January 2, 2014

Asia Bibi's Letter to the Pope: "Only God can Free Me" -- The Silence of Amnesty International

(Lahore) Asia Bibi, Pakistan's most famous prisoner has sent   a letter to Pope Francis. The now 43 year old Pakistani Catholic has been in prison since n June 2009 for allegedly insulting Islam. Accused by two Islamic religious leaders of having engaging a  Muslim women in a dispute where she maintained that it was not Mohammed who was the "true prophet" of God, but Jesus Christ, she is the first woman to be sentenced to death in the country on  8 November 2010. Since then, she is held under particularly tight security in prison during her  appeal process. The mother of five children was sentenced under Article 295 (C) of 1986 anti-blasphemy law introduced in the Pakistan Penal Code.

Diplomatic Efforts by the Vatican For Release

In November 2011,  Pope Benedict XVI. appealed publicly to  the Pakistani government to bring an end of discrimination and violence against Christians. For a Christian, the Head of the Church explained: "Today I bring to expression my spiritual closeness especially to Mrs. Asia Bibi and her family members, while I note that she has her full freedom restored  as soon as possible ."  At the same time, the Pope sent Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue to Pakistan, with a diplomatic mission to Islamabad to secure the release and departure of Asia Bibi. The mission failed because   the Pakistani government feared to release Asia Bibi because of  an Islamist insurgency. The diplomatic efforts of the Catholic side have  not been cancelled since.  Chilly silence prevails, however, from the "Heralds" in the defense of human rights. The abortion lobbyist Amnesty International has barely spent a word for Asia Bibi, while the release of  the extreme left, anti-Church,  action group Pussy Riot, or the oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky will be celebrated as "successes".

Christmas with the family in prison

In her letter to Pope Francis, Asia Bibi offers a personal testimony of faith. She thanked him for the divine grace that she could hold out so long. She also thanked the Holy See for the efforts toward her release. "I hope that every Christian could celebrate Christmas with joy. Like many other prisoners, I have celebrated the birth of our Lord in prison in Multan here in Pakistan. In a special way, she thanked the Catholic school and charity Renaissance Education Foundation, through which it was possible that her husband and her children were allowed to come to Multan for Christmas in the prison, to  celebrate the Solemnity together. "It would have been for me a great pleasure to have celebrated Christmas in the Vatican Basilica to pray together with you. I have confidence in the plans that God has  for me and maybe it will be possible next year."

"Only God Can Free Me"

Asia Bibi thanked all Christians who pray for her and work for her release. She wrote to the Pope about their already four and a half years in prison and  her concerns: "I do not know how long I can hold out. If I'm still alive, it is thanks to the power which was given to me through your prayers. I have met many people who support me and fight for me. So far, unfortunately without success. In this moment I want to entrust myself solely to the mercy of God who can do anything. He alone can free me."

"I Know that You Pray for Me"

In the letter to the Pope, the Pakistani mother speaks  of some of her  daily worries to prison: "This winter is especially hard: my cell is unheated, the door does not protect against the biting cold." "The security measures are inappropriate," since Asia Bibi was moved for security to the prison of Multan, her family has to travel from Lahore, which is a long way. The authorities speak of "necessities", because otherwise they could not protect the lives of prisoners.  Several calls for her death  and a bounty have been offered by Islamist organizations  for the Moslem who murders Asia Bibi.
The thanks and pleading letter to the Pope ends with the best Christmas and New Year wishes. "I know that you pray with all your heart for me. This gives me confidence that my freedom will one day be possible.  I greet you with affection in this hopeful prayer. Asia Bibi, your daughter in the faith. "
Text: Paix Liturgique / Giuseppe Nardi
image: Una Fides
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches....



Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

O God, who bring wars to nought and shield by Thy power all who hope in Thee, over-throwing those who assail them; help Thy servants who implore Thy mercy so that the fierce might of their enemy may be brought low and we may never cease to praise and thank Thee.

Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Kinana said...

This is the fate for all non-Muslims unless the West stands up against these Islamic bullies and propagandise against the Islamic doctrines of domination and persecution.

The present Pope said in his recent encyclical: ‘Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.’

Well, the violence faced by Asia Bibi and countless others should help educate the whole church about ‘authentic Islam.’

Lynda said...

She and all the countless persecuted Christians are an indictment of our spiritual and political leaders. And Amnesty has long been an organisation that campaigns for the legislation of systematic large scale killing of the innocent and defenceless.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this has been our history for the last fifty years. In the effort to look 'Christian' we do nothing to help these poor people. While our brothers around the world are imprisoned, tortured, and killed, we sit back in our easy chairs watching the latest TV show or DVD. It wasn't until the sleeping Catholic Church realized that something had to be done about the Muslim invasion of Europe that it was stopped. By that time it was really too late. They had established themselves in the whole of the Holy Land. We were only able to push them back to extreme southern Europe. Now not only do we have to worry about the Muslim nations but also the Atheist governments of the West.

Can anyone pass the popcorn and the remote please?

Genty said...

Asia Bibi might as well be invisible to many Catholics. I have never once heard her name mentioned in bidding prayers which habitually call for peace and justice. It is left to the Pakistani Christian Association to keep hammering away, whilst our clerics cosy up to the local imams in their interfaith get-togethers.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

the bidding prayers are all about some generic 'peace' - never Christ's peace.

faitho2 said...

Great is our LORD full of power and wisdom you LORD or beyond reckoning, can we fathom the mysteries of God? Can we probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens-what can we do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave -what can we know? Wonderful Counselor Prince of Peace. Thank you for the victory through our LORD and Saviour Jesus the Messiah Amen

Tac dung cua nam linh chi said...

god bless her

Anonymous said...

"authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran"- Well what is authentic Islam? We have Islamists committing mass murder of innocent people in the name of Islam and quoting fairly unequivocal passages from the Koran to support their actions. Where are the moderate voices of Islamic faith speaking out against the Islamists?