Yesterday, Persecution.org had more details on the lack of security measures concerning Asia Bibi's case; you can read the article here. The article also reports that Shabhaz Bhatti, Pakistan's Minorities Minister and a Christian, has been continually threatened for supporting Asia. He says that he is "one of the highest targets right now." But he will continue business as usual: "I'm not talking about special security arrangements. We need to stand against these forces of terrorism because they're terrorising the country. I cannot even trust security... I believe that protection can come only from heaven, so these bodyguards can't save you," he said. Additionally, Sherry Rehman, Pakistan's former information minster, initiated a bill in November "calling for an end to the death penalty for blasphemy." She says, "I'm not being foolish but I'm going to be rational. I don't plan to turn away... I have put the bill in, it's not an extreme position like a repeal bill. They (the extremeists) can't decide what we think or speak."
Over the Christmas season, Raza Anjum, a UK public official went to Lahore, Pakistan, to negotiate Asia Bibi's release. Warren Throckmorton, the initiator of an online petition to that end, says, "I asked him [Anjum] what we could do. He told that the petitions and emails are helping. He said the Pakistani officials mentioned the emails and petitions to him." [source: change.org, 12/22/10]
As you can see, our efforts -- along with the efforts of Pakistani officials -- are making an impact. It may seem that it is only angering the Muslims the more we speak out in defense of Asia and others like her; but the more pressure we place on the government, the more they have to do something. They only have two options: They can either kill her when they know that this is an international case -- that the world is watching -- or they can repeal the blasphemy law and release her. All the squabble is over a blasphemy law that, according to one Muslim, is greatly misinterpreted. And that is just the point: Asia's case is one of MANY, in which the blasphemy law has been used to murder innocent people, simply because the Muslims do not tolerate the Christians. And they tell us that Islam is a religion of peace... yeah, right! But, as noted above, there are some Pakistani officials who are actually unafraid to stand in defense of this woman; kudos to them! Hopefully, our voices will add additional pressure making it easier for them to do their job! Keep them in your prayers, since it is extremely dangerous for them -- as is evidenced by the recent murder of the Governor of Pakistan who also supported Asia.
In light of all of the above, this blog stresses that you do all that you can to help. We covered some ways you can help in a previous post; however, in addition to those, I have added a few other ideas. Here are five ways that you can help:
1) Pray. Pray for the Pakistani government officials, for Asia and her family, and for the Muslims. Pray that the Lord's will be done is this situation.
2) Sign as many petitions as you can and pass them along to as many friends as you know! The more signatures the better -- the more pressure it places on government officials. So far, Warren's petition has accumulated 803 petitions, and it is waiting for your signature. Help Warren reach 1,000 signatures! If you haven't signed the petition already, you can do so here.
I also came across another petition for Asia's release; I encourage you to sign it as well. And there are many more petitions online that you can find by doing a simple Google search. I will post some of them here as I find them.
3) If you are a Twitter or Facebook user, get the word out to all your followers and friends. The Voice of the Martyrs has a twitter page, where you can find the latest updates on this and other cases: @persecutionblog. You can also follow updates on Asia's case from my Twitter account: @dcfblog. And don't forget to Retweet these updates! There is also a Facebook page which updates on the latest events in Pakistan related to Asia Bibi's case: "Save Asia Bibi" Petition; be sure to "like" it and share it with your Facebook friends.
4) Write an encouraging letter to Asia. Encourage her to remain faithful to God and tell her that you are praying for her.
5) Blog about Asia's case or write an article on it for your website. If you have a Christian blog or site, it shouldn't be too hard to squeeze it in somehow. In fact, I used to write about it on my main blog (and I still do sometimes). However, I started this blog in order to let people know not just about these instances and keep them up-to-date on them, but also how they can help. After all, not every person can travel to Pakistan, or China, or wherever these Christians are; but we can all pray and help our brothers and sisters right where we are.
Don't stand idly by while your brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering, when you can do something to help! The pressure is on! What will you do to help?
"Remember the prisoners as though chained with them..." ~ Hebrews 13:3