The Catholic News Agency has an interesting article on Asia Bibi, the Catholic woman in Pakistan who has been condemned to death for alleged blasphemy against the Islamic religion. The Holy Father has made a personal appeal on her behalf and the Governer of the Pakistani province of Punjab was murdered for defending her.
The case has all the hallmarks of a stitch up. It seems the accusations have been made following a dispute between Asia's family and a Muslim neighbour whose cattle had damaged their property. When working in the fields she brought water to others working with her, they refused to drink from the cup because as a Christian she was unclean and so too the cup she carried. A very Biblical situation - she brings a cup of cold water to people working in the heat and they managed to start an argument and find an excuse to have her put on trial for blasphemy.
It is obvious she is being punished for her Christian faith and the unjust and easily manipulated blasphemy laws in Pakistan are faciliating her condemnation. Extremists have put a price on her head - $5,000 to the one who kills her - I believe that is what they call a fatwa. We must pray for her. Things seem bleak, but God can do all things. Reading this article I am impressed with her - she has great faith and while she wants to get out and go home to her suffering family, she seems to demonstrate a deep serenity. Are we watching the making of a great Christian martyr?
I see from Catholic Culture that another Christian woman has now been charged with blasphemy - the charges seem strangely similiar to those brought against Asia.