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Published On: Fri, Oct 26th, 2018

Will the UN speak up for Asia Bibi?

The front page of the United Nations’ website  features an article entitled, “French full-body veil ban, violated women’s freedom of religion: UN Human Rights Committee.”

In 2012, two French Muslim women sent complaints to the U.N. when a 2010 French law was enforced against them for wearing niqabs. A UN Committee ruled that these women in question have a religious right to wear the niqabs. “The State has not demonstrated how the full veil presents a threat in itself for public security to justify this absolute ban,” the decision read. The Committee has recommended the two women be compensated for the fines they had to pay, and that the 2010 law be reviewed.

Asia Bibi
Image/BPCA

The U.N., no doubt, seems committed to protecting religious rights. So, why has it not issued any statements or recommendations regarding Asia Bibi ?

Asia Bibi is a Christian woman in Pakistan who has been sentenced to death for violating Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

Asia’s crime was that she drank from a communal cup of water as the sole Christian working in a field with three Muslim women. By doing this, she supposedly “contaminated” the cup.

Asia appealed the conviction. Having been in prison since 2009, she now awaits a final ruling from Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

Pakistan is No. 5 on the 2018 Open Doors USA World Watch List for “extreme” persecution of the country’s nearly 4 million Christians. Much of the persecution comes from radical Islamic groups that flourish and expand under the favor of political parties, the army and the government.

The STPC Coalition, which advocates on behalf of 215 million Christians facing heavy persecution worldwide, continues to work diligently to disseminate actionable information about ways in which the American people can help those like Bibi who are being persecuted for their faith.

Especially in light of headlines like these, raising awareness about Christian persecution is crucial, as violence toward and imprisonment of Christians occurs so routinely it rarely makes the news. For example, according to Open Doors, 255 Christians are killed worldwide every month. 104 Christians are abducted. 180 Christian women are raped, sexually assaulted or forced into marriage. 160 Christians are detained or imprisoned without trial. And 66 churches are attacked. Every month.

With such staggering statistics, and the knowledge that most of these crimes are not covered in the media, the STPC Coalition developed a special news aggregator—www.ChristianPersecutionNews.comto capture current instances of persecution that do make the news and to provide readers an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others.

One of the simple and economical ways Americans can render support is by encouraging their pastors and faith leaders to visit www.SaveThePersecutedChristians.org and to order a free banner to display in front of their houses of worship. These simple banners feature a graphic “Save Us” plea with a cross and the coalition’s website where Americans can learn about the global persecution of Christians and find out more about what they can do to help stop it.

With so much of the world’s population attacked, imprisoned or exiled for their beliefs—like Bibi and other followers of Christ in Pakistan—the time is fitting for the work of the STPC Coalition. The Coalition is building a movement like one in the 1970s that helped free another population suffering from heavy persecution—Soviet Jews—so as to press for policy changes that will hold the persecutors accountable and increase the costs for their crimes against humanity. Building such a movement is necessary to provide American policymakers the leverage needed to influence change worldwide and to alleviate the suffering of those who are being persecuted merely because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

Asia Bibi, sentenced to death in Pakistan

Asia Bibi photo supplied by Call For Mercy

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