Asia Bibi has left Pakistan Arriving in Canada
Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian women who spent more than a decade on death row after being unjustly convicted of blasphemy, has left Pakistan and flown to Canada, according to reports.
Father Emmanuel Yousaf, National Director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace in Pakistan has spoken to ACN and confirmed the reports saying:
"Congratulations to ACN for all the hard work and prayers that have helped to make this day possible. We thank God that justice has prevailed and wish all the best for the family. We also thank God that the family is now being reunited at long last. We pray to God that they will have a better future and can put behind them nearly 10 years of suffering. There are so many who deserve our congratulations for all that they have done for Asia in her struggle to regain her freedom.”
The comments come amid breaking news that the Christian woman, formerly on death row for blasphemy, has finally left her native Pakistan and travelled to Canada, where her two daughters, Eisham and Esha, are now living.
Image: Asia Bibi before her imprisonment. © British Pakistani Christian Association.
Father Yousaf said: “We thank God that the family is now being reunited at long last.
“We pray to God that they will have a better future and can put behind them nearly 10 years of suffering.
“We thank God that justice has prevailed.”
Asia Bibi was charged with blasphemy in 2009, a crime punishable by death. Last October the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted her, confirming its decision in an appeal hearing in January, but she was not allowed to follow her wish and leave the country – until recently.
Christians in Pakistan make up less than 2% of the population, yet the ongoing persecution they face is clear for all to see. Asia Bibi is one of hundreds of Christians falsely accused of blasphemy in the country. Critics of Pakistan's blasphemy laws say that accusations are often used as a source of revenge after personal disputes. Even though Aid to the Church in Need is celebrating this good news we remember those others who are still incarcerated or unjustly accused under the Blasphemy Laws today as well as those who sacrificed so much for Asia Bibi, particularly the politicians Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti, who gave up their lives in the pursuit of freedom for Asia.
“Our prayers and our work will continue to help all those who are unjustly accused by radical fundamentalists and who cannot practise their Christian faith freely.”
Supporting persecuted Christians is the very core of our work at Aid to the Church in Need. Our work in Pakistan, and many other countries where Christians face oppression and violence, is ongoing. It is only with your compassion that we can continue this vital work.
Below is a video of Archbishop Dr. Joseph Arshad, Chairperson of the NCJP (National Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Pakistan) and Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf (Mani), National Director NCJP, Pakistan.
The video will play from 22 minutes and 39 seconds when Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf discusses the blasphemy laws in Pakistan and how they are abused and innocent people suffer.