The Catholic Pakistani mother sentenced to death for blasphemy, has written to Pope Francis saying that only God can liberate her.
According to an article in the Catholic Bishops Conference of the
Philippines News Service (CBCP News), Asia Bibi said, "I also hope that
every Christian has been able to celebrate the Christmas just past with
joy. Like many other prisoners, I also celebrated the birth of the Lord
in prison in Multan, here in Pakistan."
She continued by saying that "only God will be able to free me" and
made a point of thanking the Renaissance Education Foundation that
helped make her "dream come true" to spend Christmas with her husband
and children by bringing them to Multan.
"I would have liked to be in St Peter's for Christmas to pray with
you, but I trust in God's plan for me and hopefully it will be achieved
next year," she told Pope Francis.
Bibi is awaiting the conclusion of an appeals process after being incarcerated for four and a half years without trial.
Working as a farmhand in June 2009, she was asked to fetch water for
some of her co-workers. She complied, but some of her Muslim colleagues
refused to drink the water as they considered Christians to be
Arguments reportedly followed and witnesses maintain that Bibi
verbally abused the two women, their religion, and the prophet Muhammad.
A few days later, complaints were made to a cleric about these
alleged derogatory comments, resulting in a mob coming to her house and
beating her and members of her family.
Bibi was rescued by the police but, under pressure from the crowd,
they charged her under Section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code, the
country's notorious anti-blasphemy law.
"I am very grateful to all the churches that are praying for me and
fighting for my freedom," CBCP News said she continued in the letter.
Bibi added, "I do not know how long I can go on and on. If I am still
alive, it is thanks to the strength that your prayers give me. I have
met many people who speak and fight for me. Unfortunately still to no
avail. At this time I just want to trust the mercy of God, who can do
everything, that all is possible. Only He can liberate me."
Bibi was also grateful to all the people who work and raise funds for her cause. She then talked about her daily hardships.
"This winter I am facing many problems: my cell has no heating and no suitable door for shelter from the bitter cold," she said.
"Also the security measures are not adequate, I do not have enough
money for daily needs, and I am very far from Lahore so my family cannot
She concluded by asking Pope Francis to accept her best wishes for the new year.
"I know you pray for me with all your heart," she wrote. "And this
gives me confidence that one day my freedom will be possible. Certain to
be remembered in your prayers, I greet you with affection. Asia Bibi,
your daughter in the faith."