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UK religious freedom leaders speak out for Asia Bibi, persecuted Pakistani Christians


The archbishop of Pakistan’s largest Catholic diocese was embarking on a nationwide tour of England to draw attention to the persecution of Christians, just as news broke of yet another delay in the blasphemy appeal case of Asia Bibi which was due to be heard on Thursday 13th October.

Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM, of the Archdiocese of Lahore, had been giving a series of keynote lectures around England throughout the third week of October, at the invitation of the anti-persecution charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), when news about Asia, the imprisoned Catholic mother of five, hit headlines around the world.

The continued tension over the “sad case” of Asia Bibi

Archbishop Shaw spoke with the Catholic World Report on Saturday 15th October at Westminster Cathedral, London, where he was speaking at an ACN conference on Christian persecution in Pakistan and the Middle East. 

“We’re all praying and hoping that she will get justice and be released. The case against her is very weak and fragile,” he said. “The supreme court in Pakistan is very free from pressures, and the chief justice is liberal and for human rights.”

Asia Bibi, a 50-year-old mother of five and farm labourer, was arrested in June 2009, after a group of women she was arguing with over drinking from the same well, accused her of blasphemy against Muhammad, whom Muslims believe is a prophet. She was arrested under Section 295c of the Pakistan Penal Code, and imprisoned. 

Read more at Catholic World Report.

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