The Pakistani Catholic Asia Bibi has called for the blasphemy law to be abolished in her home country. She called the law a “sword” in the hands of the Muslim majority.
Blasphemy (blasphemy) is considered a capital crime in Islamic Pakistan, which is punishable by the death penalty. Asia Bibi was on death row for years due to the settlement. She now lives in Canada with her family.
She spoke at an online conference of the aid organization “Kirche in Not” (Tuesday) via audio switch on the occasion of the publication of a new report on “Religious Freedom Worldwide”. According to this, there are serious violations of this human right in 62 of 196 countries examined. In most of them, the situation has worsened since 2018. The worst offenders included some of the world’s most populous countries, including China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria.
Protection for underage girls called for
Asia Bibi called on the international community to enforce the right to religious freedom worldwide. With a view to Pakistan, more protection is needed, especially for underage girls. Many are kidnapped, raped, forcibly converted and forced to marry by their tormentors. Addressing Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Christian said: “If Islam teaches peace and harmony, how can violence against Christian girls and women in the name of religion be legal?”
The Punjab woman spent nearly nine years in prison after her death sentence for alleged blasphemy, until the verdict was overturned by the country’s highest court in January 2019. The acquittal led to days of violent protests by Muslim hardliners in Pakistan. In May 2019, Asia Bibi was able to leave for Canada in the greatest secrecy.
Asia Bibi wants to thank the Pope
On Tuesday, she reiterated the desire to visit Rome. She wanted to be with both Pope Francis and his predecessor Benedict XVI. thank you personally. Both had made an important contribution to their liberation with high-profile appeals.
Curial Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, President of the Pontifical Foundation “Church in Need”, used the publication of the new report to call for peace among religions. Violence based on belief is not acceptable, he stressed. The only feasible way is based on brotherhood and mutual respect.