In 2018, Asia Bibi, a Christian woman in Pakistan, was released after serving a 10-year prison sentence in the country. She had been imprisoned on false blasphemy accusations, a crime punishable by death.
In an interview with Alessandro Monteduro, director of Aid to the Church in Need Italy, Asia Bibi shared a message for persecuted Christians.
“I appeal to the Prime Minister of Pakistan—especially for the victims of the blasphemy laws and the girls who have been forcibly converted—to safeguard and protect the minorities, who are also Pakistani citizens. And I, as a victim myself, am speaking from my own experience. I suffered terribly and lived through so many difficulties, but now I am free and I hope that these laws can be changed in such a way as to prevent any abuse of them.”
Bibi has been a symbol of the suffering endured by persecuted Christians worldwide, but her testimony now extends to all Pakistanis.
“Pakistan is not just about minorities or majorities; Pakistan is for all Pakistani citizens, so therefore the religious minorities should also have the same rights of citizenship, and the law in Pakistan says that everyone should be able to live in freedom—and so this freedom must be guaranteed and respected.”
Asia Bibi, who now resides in Canada with her husband and daughters, hopes to one day meet Pope Francis in Rome. She says she is grateful for those who have accompanied her with their prayers.