Breaking: Asia Bibi Leaves Pakistan, Safe in Canada

May 8, 2019 by Lindy Lowry in Stories of Persecution

After six months since her acquittal on October 31, 2018, the Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi is reportedly out of Pakistan and has arrived safely in Canada, where her family now lives. Her family had already been granted political asylum there.

An Open Doors spokesman expressed their joy at the news: “This is wonderful news. And we hope there will not be repercussions for the Christians in Pakistan but [that this] would, in fact, make a way for change, hope and reconciliation.”

Journey to Freedom

The wife and mother of five spent eight years on death row, convicted of blasphemy. When Pakistan’s Supreme Court overturned the conviction last October, it was expected she would leave her home country. But the acquittal put into motion massive and violent protests by Muslim extremists calling for her death that left Pakistani Christians fearing for their lives and livelihoods; and Asia Bibi in protective custody in an undisclosed secret location inside the country.

Last year, before and after the Supreme Court hearing, Islamic hardliners threatened the judges and organized wide-spread protests. They also filed a petition to appeal the court’s decision. With another hearing pending, Asia was not allowed to leave the country

 In January 2019, the court upheld their decision to acquit—clearing the way for the 47-year-old Christian woman to leave the country. However, little has been reported about her whereabouts and any plans to leave.

Today, tens of millions of prayers around the world lifted up for more than a decade have been answered.

A Quarrel Over a Cup of Water

Asia was arrested in 2009 after being accused of insulting the Muslim prophet Mohammed after a quarrel with a female co-laborer over her touching a cup of water she gave to them. The following year, she was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death.

Despite lack of evidence and contradictions in witness testimonies, the court cases and appeals dragged on. Finally in 2018, the Supreme Court acquitted her in the landmark decision.

Her case has focused global attention on Pakistan’s blasphemy laws that Islamic fundamentalists inside the country fight to uphold. In many cases, Muslims use the laws to seize land or wage vendettas.

Praying With Asia Bibi and the Church in PakistanP

Pakistan’s Christians (3.9 million out of a national population of 200 million) have fervently prayed for a positive outcome.

“Aasiya Bibi is a much loved and prayed for woman” an Open Doors’ spokesman said in January. 

Please share your prayers on our Prayer Wall for Asia—and read the words of fellow Christians who have prayed along with you for her release and freedom.