Christian Pakistani woman sentenced to die writes Pope: 'I do not know how long I can go on and on'
Mother of five sentenced to hang on blasphemy charges
A Pakistani mother of five, sentenced to die for blasphemy, has written a heartfelt letter to Pope Francis. In spite of her dire situation, Asia Bibi still finds lot to rejoice in her Christian faith.
Asia Bibi was arrested in June 2009 where she drank from a cup at a well. Bibi's Muslim co-workers claimed that her use of the well made it "unclean" because she was a Christian
Imprisoned in Multan, Pakistan for four-and-a-half years, Bibi is waiting for the conclusion of her appeals to the court.
"To His Holiness Pope Francis: in the name of our almighty and glorious Lord, I, Asia Bibi, would like to express my deepest gratitude to God and to you, Holy Father," Bibi wrote. Her letter was published in the Italian newspaper Tempi on New Year's Eve.
"I hope that every Christian has been able to celebrate the Christmas just past with joy," Bibi wrote. "Like many other prisoners, I also celebrated the birth of the Lord in prison in Multan, here in Pakistan."
She continued, "I am very grateful to all the churches that are praying for me and fighting for my freedom. 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 God will be able to free me."
Bibi found time to give thanks to the Renaissance Education Foundation for bringing her husband and children to her prison in Multan so that she could see them at Christmas, calling it a "dream come true.
"I would have liked to be in St. Peter's for Christmas to pray with you," she wrote to the Pope, "but I trust in God's plan for me and hopefully it will be achieved next year."
Describing the conditions of her imprisonment, she wrote that "I am facing many problems this winter: my cell has no heating and no door for shelter from the bitter cold, the security measures are not adequate, and I do not have enough money for daily needs and am very far from Lahore so my family cannot help me.
"Holy Father, I want finally for you to accept my best wishes for the New Year. I know you pray for me with all your heart. And this gives me confidence that one day my freedom will be possible," she wrote.
Asia Bibi was arrested in June 2009 where she drank from a cup at a well. Bibi's Muslim co-workers claimed that her use of the well made it "unclean" because she was a Christian. An argument ensued, and witnesses testified at her trial that she insulted the Prophet Mohammed.
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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