A special meeting with Asia Bibi

 ‘God is with you in the exact way He is with me.’ 

In June 2010, Asia Bibi was convicted of blasphemy charges in Pakistan and sentenced to die. She waited eight years for an appeal hearing that was delayed repeatedly. Ultimately, Pakistan’s Supreme Court held a hearing and ordered her release, saying that the prosecution had categorically failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. After nine years of prayers from Christians around the globe, Asia was freed on Oct. 31, 2018. 

Open Doors team members met with Asia Bibi in Paris last Saturday. At a small gathering, Asia Bibi shared her heart and gave an update on her life and faith. 
Our team presented her with a Bible and a special shawl that was made by women of the persecuted church who prayed for Asia for years while she was imprisoned. 
When Bibi went to prison, her daughters were young girls; now they are grown women. 

Here’s a brief interview with Asia: 
How did your time in prison change your faith? 
My faith has always been strong because my family had a lot of devotion, but it did get stronger because now I know that God is with me—and God doesn’t leave you alone, he is always with us. 
How is it possible to endure such difficulties in prison and not doubt God’s existence? 
I never doubted, because when I was born, the priest told my mother, “This girl is going to be tested by God.” And my parents kept telling me this story and I knew that this was going to happen someday. 
Did you realize you were a symbol of hope and faith while you were in prison? 
I had a lot of patience and hope in my heart while I was in prison. And I was certain I would be released one day because I was innocent. I knew that someday I was going to be free. When my father came to visit me, he said that I’ve been accused for the name of Jesus and I told him I would also be released in the name of Jesus. 

The Open Doors team giving Asia a special Bible in Urdu, Asia’s language.

How did you feel when you heard that extremists assassinated a government official who supported your case? 
I had very deep pain. I really cried because he was innocent. Whenever I think of him, I have tears in my eyes. I have a lot of pain in my heart. But I also have the feeling that he is alive because anyone who dies for his faith is always alive—he never dies. 
Do you hope to live anonymously in the future? 
I’m free, but I do need security. I’m sure you understand. My wish in my life is that my children will have an education. Their education has suffered a lot. 
Asia Bibi and her daughter Esah. 

Where will you live in the future? Will you stay in Canada or move to France? 
I haven’t decided yet, I have come to France, and I’m very busy. So, I just need some time to sit and think about it. Canada is a very good country and so is France. 
Do you have a message for those who’ve prayed for you while you were in prison? 
Yes, I have a message for them. God is with them in the exact way He was with me. You are in God’s hands and you are vital. 
Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family as they make decisions about their future. And remember to pray for your sisters and brothers who remain under extreme persecution in Pakistan today. 


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