Nine years. That is how long Asia Bibi has spent in prison and on death row for an alleged blasphemy – which she has always denied. It is also how old her daughter Eisham was, back in June 2009, when she witnessed an enraged crowd beating her mother. Now 18, she met with ACN on Saturday 13 October in London, accompanied by her father, Ashiq Masih.

"We last saw Asia on Monday 1st October, before coming to the United Kingdom. She is well, physically and spiritually", her husband, Ashiq Masih, told ACN on Saturday 13 October in London. "After being accused of blasphemy, she has suffered, her whole family has suffered, for almost 10 years now. But by the grace of God, we hope she will very soon be set free", he added.

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Image: Eisham Bibi - Asia Bibi's daugher has been without her mother for 10 years.

The family of a Christian woman fighting a death sentence in Pakistan believe the country’s Supreme Court may be on the verge of announcing her acquittal.

The court on Monday, 8th October referred judgement in the final hearing in the case of Asia Bibi, whose conviction for blasphemy is on appeal.

Speaking on behalf of Asia Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih and daughter, Eisham Ashiq, Father Emmanuel Yousaf said the Supreme Court’s decision could be announced within a few days.

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Asia Bibi has been held in solitary confinement since November 2010, when she was sentenced to hang for insulting Prophet Muhammad, an allegation she denies.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has set up a three-member bench to hear the final appeal against the execution of Ms Bibi on October 8. The court ‎had earlier adjourned her death sentence appeal on October 13, 2016, after one of the three judges recused himself ‎from the case.‎

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After the vote in the Autonomous Region, Patriarch Cardinal Louis Raphaël I Sako, speaks to ACN about hope, future and expectations of Christians in Iraq

"From this election we expect a positive political change", says Cardinal Louis Raphaël I Sako, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon and Head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, to Aid to the Church in Need refering to the General elections  scheduled to take place in Iraqi Kurdistan on Sunday, 30 September,  to elect Parliament. "Cooperation between central Iraqi Government and authorities of Kurdistan is very important. If it works, the whole country works. If it does not work, many complications arise", says Patriarch Sako, elevated to cardinal by Pope Francis last 29 June.

Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church,(© ACN)

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In Pakistan, a Muslim confronts great risks in becoming a Christian:

THIS IS THE STORY of Kainut, a brave 20-year-old girl who grew up a Muslim, with a Christian mother and a Muslim father, but she chose to become a Catholic. As a result, she and her family are suffering harassment, discrimination and worse. According to Islamic law, if someone leaves Islam, that person can be killed with impunity. Kainut, who is studying medicine, speaks about her life and the momentous choice she made:

Image: Kainut (far right) with fellow students at university. Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need

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