Today is a global day of prayer for Asia Bibi,
the Pakistani Christian woman who was convicted by a Pakistani court of blasphemy, receiving a death sentence by hanging. The Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Talseer, and
Pakistan's Minority Affairs Minister, Shahbaz Batti, were both assasinated for supporting Asia Bibil. From the Fides news service:
"From the Clarisse of Lovere (Italy); the cloistered Poor Women of New York (USA); the community of Franciscans of Thu Duc, Hochiminh City (Vietnam); the diocese of Batouri (Cameroon), the Sisters of St. Joseph of Tarbes, in Brazil, the Christian communities of New Zealand; the maronites of Lebanon, to the Orthodox in Indonesia: today, April 20, 2011, community, religious institutions, associations, churches, and the faithful of all Christian denominations are praying for Asia Bibi, offering Masses, lighting candles, organizing prayer vigils, torchlight processions and Eucharistic adoration.
The initiative of a "Special Day of Prayer", launched by the "Masihi Foundation" - that intended to keep alive in the minds the suffering of a Christian woman wrongly sentenced to death in Pakistan, falsely accused of blasphemy –has seen the adherence of the five continents. "We believe in the power of prayer, that can move mountains, through the intervention of God”, said Haroon Barkat Masih, Director of the Foundation Masihi to Fides. "We believe it is important to urge the universal communion of the faithful for cases of persecution such as Asia Bibi" he explained.
Pope Benedict has appealed for clemency. Watch this short video of Bibi's husband appealing for prayer on her behalf.