Pakistan's Supreme Court Aquits Asia Bibi of Blasphemy: 'We Are Grateful to God'
- And our senior internationalcorrespondent, Gary Lane,
has been following this storyfrom the very beginning,
and Gary joins us now, welcome, Gary.
- Hi, Mark, good to be with you.
- Did you expect this decision?
- Yes, I did, because we have a great God,
and he answers prayer.- Amen.
- And there were a lot ofChristians around the world
praying for this, but in addition to that,
the court delayed announcing its decision
earlier this month, andmany Pakistani Christians
at that time said that was good news
because if they wanted to execute her,
they would have announced it at that time.
So the delay may havebeen to allow her family
to get asylum in a Western country
and for those negotiations to take place.
- Let's talk a little bitmore about what happens now.
What do you think is gonna happen?
- Well, I think right now she is probably
not even in Pakistan.
The Pakistani government says that
she is in a safe location.
I think she's in aWestern country somewhere,
Canada, the US, UK,Australia, Sweden, Norway,
somewhere like that, she and her family.
What will happen after that,we'll have to wait and see,
but we need to be praying as Christians
for Christians in Pakistanand the churches there
because Islamists arealready starting to riot,
and if it gets out of hand,
they could end up burning churches,
hurting Christians and soforth, so we need to be praying.
- Yes, very true, well,a top Islamic cleric
called for protests if she was released.
Do you expect those protests,maybe even violence?
- Well, they're already starting, Mark.
And so we need to be on our knees praying,
"God, protect the Christiansof Pakistan who suffer."
They're only about 2%of the population there.
They're second and third-classcitizens in that country,
and they could be subjected to attacks.
- This is a landmark decision.
Do you think it's gonnachange anything in Pakistan?
- No, I don't think it'llchange anything in Pakistan.
Asia Bibi was the firstwoman to be convicted
and scheduled for execution for blasphemy,
the longest serving Christian in prison
in Pakistan on blasphemycharges, serving over nine years,
almost nine and a half yearsin prison for what, Mark?
I mean, what did she say?
She may have said something like
my Jesus saved me, what hasyour prophet ever done for you?
And for that, she was sentenced to death
and has spent almost 10 years in prison.
Can you imagine that,Mark, in this country
if someone criticized Donald Trump
and was executed for that,if that were the sentence,
there'd be a lot of Americanson death row right now.
But that's how it is in Pakistan,
you criticize Muhammad, notolerance of that whatsoever,
you're gonna be executed.
But this is a good for Asia Bibi,
it's a good day for Pakistani Christians.
Justice has prevailed, andGod has answered prayer.
- Amen, thank you, Gary.