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Arrested: June 2009

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Bibi, a 37-year-old Pakistani woman from the village of Ittanwali, was
arrested by police on Friday, June 19, and faces possible blasphemy
charges. Asia is the wife of 50-year-old Ashiq Masih, and their family
is one of only three Christian families in a village of more than 1,500

Many of the local women work on the farm of Muslim
landowner Muhammad Idrees, including Asia. During their work many of
the Muslim women have pressured Asia to renounce Christianity and
accept Islam. In June, the pressure became especially strong.

Friday, June 19, there was an intense discussion among the women about
their faith, with the Muslim women telling Asia about Islam. Asia
responded by telling them about her faith in Christ. Asia told the
Muslim women Christ had died on the cross for our sins, then asked them
what Mohammed had done for them, according to VOM sources. She told
them Jesus is alive, but Mohammed is dead. “Our Christ is the true
prophet of God,” she reportedly told them, “and yours is not true.”

hearing this response the Muslim women became angry and began to beat
Asia Bibi. Then some men came and took her and locked her in a room.
They announced from mosque loudspeakers that she would be punished by
having her face blackened and being paraded through the village on a
donkey. Local Christians informed the police, who took Asia into
custody before the Muslims could carry out their plan. She is currently
being held at the police station in Nankana city. Christians there
urged the police not to file blasphemy charges, but police claimed that
they must go forward due to pressure from local Muslim leaders.

Voice of the Martyrs urges Christians around the world to pray for Asia
Bibi and her family. Further, we call on the Pakistani government to
insure that the rights of Christians like Asia are protected.


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