[Source: Deacon John's Roman Catholic Posts, Dec. 1, 2010] - “We are sad and worried. We miss Asia so much. My children are crying and look for her every day. Today we leading a threatened life: we are being targeted by extremist groups, and we fear for our lives. We are ready to leave for Italy or for America, as soon as Asia is freed,” Fides was told in an exclusive interview with Ashiq Masih, husband of Asia Bibi. He could be reached in Lahore thanks to the Masih Foundation, the NGO that is handling the protection of Asia Bibi's family and providing legal assistance for her. The following is the interview of Ashiq Masih by Fides:
Mr Ashiq, what are your feelings today? And how are your children?
We are very sad and troubled by this absurd affair. We are missing Asia a lot, especially the four children (a fifth daughter of the couple is married, ed). They feel her absence. They cry and ask about their mother every day, wanting her to come home. The Masih Foundation is working for us and we thank them for their support.
When did you last see Asia? And what did she say to you?
I saw her yesterday, Tuesday, in prison. I found her depressed and very concerned for family and her children. She is an innocent woman who has been in prison for over a year. She would like this story to be over.
Do you have confidence in the institutions in Pakistan?
Thanks to the Masih Foundation we are going through all the necessary legal steps for Asia's case and for our protection. The President and the Government are interested in our case, realizing that Asia is innocent and they have expressed concern, but they are under pressure from extremist Islamic groups. We will act according to law. We will move forward with this process.
Have you received threats?
Many radical Islamic militants are threatening us. Many of them are looking for us. We live in a safe place, but in constant fear for our lives.
Are you ready to leave the Country?
We are ready to do that as soon as Asia is released, and hopefully that will happen soon. If we have the opportunity to move to Italy or America, we will do it without delay. Today we are very concerned about the education of the children and their future.
What would you say to the Holy Father who has launched an appeal for Asia?
We thank him warmly and we want to express our complete affection. We are extremely happy and heartened by the appeal he launched for us, for his attention to Asia's case and to all Christians who suffer in Pakistan.
Below are some ways in which you can help Asia Bibi and her family:
Asia's husband and two of her five children
1) Send an email to the President of Pakistan at: email@example.com. This is part of an international petition started by Asia News in November. Tell the Pakistani president that you want Pakistani officials "to cancel or change the unjust blasphemy law, which kills many innocent victims and destroys coexistence in the country".
2) Write a letter of encouragement to Asia Bibi at:
You can also write to Asia at prisoneralert.com, an outreach of The Voice of the Martyrs.
3) And above all, pray for Asia and her family.
The situation in Pakistan is very tense, but together, we can make a difference. The Bible states, "And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it" (1 Corinthians 12:26). As the Body of Christ, we are to stand with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ -- and to speak up for them when they cannot.
"Remember the prisoners as if chained with them--those who are mistreated--since you yourselves are in the body also." ~ Hebrews 13:3
[Hat tip for address: AL @ S.O.W.E.R]