Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - Christians in Pakistan await with bated breath, immersed in prayer, the conclusion of the final hearing today 8 October, at 1pm local time infront of the Supreme Court, a panel of three judges, presided over by the President of the Supreme Court, Mian Saqib Nisar, who will have to decide whether to confirm the death sentence of Asia Bibi, the Christian woman condemned to death for blasphemy in 2010. The verdict should be announced within a couple of days.
"It is good to know that, after such a long time, Asia Bibi’s case is brought to trial. Many people are praying for her release in Pakistan and around the world", says Fr. James Channan, Dominican, who runs the "Peace Center" in Lahore, engaged in Islamic-Christian dialogue. "It is our firm hope that, thanks to continuous prayer - he says – she can be released. I am sure that the panel of judges will examine the case without prejudice and that justice will be done, without being influenced by external pressures".
Channan continues: "I pray that Asia may be released soon and may reunite with her family members who have lived many years of pain and anguish. If she is released, it will also give great relief to all those who, in the world, have felt deeply involved in this case, praying for her, so that this innocent woman may finally have justice".
The Dominican observes again: "Moreover, if she is proved innocent, it will be necessary to punish those who falsely accused her, abusing the controversial blasphemy law". And he concludes: "Today we also remember those who were killed because of the support given to Asia Bibi: former governor of the Punjab province, the Muslim Salman Taseer and the Catholic leader Shahbaz Bhatti, Federal Minister for Minority Affairs. We hope their sacrifice was not in vain". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 8/10/2018)