Islamist Claims to Have Arrived in Canada To KILL Asia Bibi Who Fled Pakistan
Her nightmare at last appears to be over…. or is it? Earlier this month we learned that Pakistan Christian Asia Bibi was given permission to leave Pakistan for the relative safety of Canada. Pakistan’s justice system that often struggles with blasphemy cases like this, had at last closed the door on the original charges of blasphemy that had sentenced her to death by hanging in 2010.
By its verdict last October Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted her, though she was not allowed to leave Pakistan until the verdict had been reviewed, much to the chagrin of Islamist’s throughout her native land.
She endured eight torturous years in jail — not knowing whether she would live or die, not knowing if the death sentence would be carried out by a hangman or by her fellow prisoners or even a jail guard eager to polish the stairway to heaven with her blood.
The court’s decision, however, was not well received by local Islamists, clergy, and conservative Pakistanis, who called for her execution. One Muslim cleric even set a bounty on Asia Bibi, promising to pay 500,000 Pakistani rupees ($4,700) to anyone who killed her.
JUST AFTER ASIA BIBI ARRIVES IN CANADA
Now, days after her safe arrival in our country a video 7was rele7ased online showing an unidentified Islamist who claims to have followed Asia Bibi to Canada with the intent to murder her. In the harrowing video threat the unnamed man said he had “reached” Canada to give her a “terrible death and send her to hell”.
Not showing his face in the video he declared, “I will make sure to bring a terrible end to the blasphemer Asia Bibi”. He said he had come to Canada to “stop” her from saying “blasphemous” things against Islam again. (You can view the video below.)
WE MAY NOT SEE IT…
Once again we are reminded that we’re in a spiritual battle in this world. We may not see it, we might even forget it’s happening around us. It’s easy to grow complacent in our faith when we live in the comfort we have here in our country.
We’re reminded that…“our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground”…
Together, let’s stand our ground in prayer for those like Asia and countless others who are facing circumstances that are beyond our comfort level!
Rev. Dale R. Hiscock
MONDAY / Islamic World - RAMADAN CONSIDERED THE HOLIEST MONTH OF THE YEAR
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and is considered the holiest month of the year by millions of Muslims.
This year, Ramadan started Sunday, May 5th and will end Tuesday evening, June 4th.
During Ramadan Muslims fast during the day, observe daily prayers, give to the poor and refocus their attention on Allah. This time for fasting and prayers is intended to help Muslims to purify their soul and to rededicate their lives to Islam.
It is believed that the Quran was first revealed to Muhammad during the month of Ramadan. Islamic history records shows that first revelation was sent down on Laylat al-Qadr (The night of Power) which is one of the five odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. According to the Hadiths the entire Quran was ‘sent’ during Ramadan.
The name Ramadan is derived from the Arabic word ramida or ar-ramad, denoting intense scorch-ing heat and dryness, especially the ground. From the same word there is ramdaa, meaning ‘sunbaked sand’ and the famous proverb Kal Mustajeer minar ramadaa binnar – to jump out of the frying pan into the fire. Some say it is so called because Ramadan scorches out the sins with good deeds, as the sun burns the ground.
As Muslims seek God, we can pray that they will encounter Jesus when they read the Koran. Muslims don’t regard Jesus as God and only accept Him as a prophet.
• Pray for Christians sharing the Gospel with Muslims during this time.
• Pray for Muslim women to have opportunities to seek spiritual truth in a religion that often doesn’t allow them to do so.
• Pray for believers around the world who live in Muslim-majority areas to share the gospel boldly with Muslims during Ramadan.
TUESDAY / Nepal - FIVE CHRISTIANS ARRESTED
Five Christians, including two foreign nationals, were arrested on April 23rd on allegations of attempted proselytisation. The arrests happened during an early morning raid on a hotel in Ghorahi. The police seized Bibles, computers and other items, including cash.
Before being arrested for preaching Christianity and converting through allurement, the five were scheduled to attend a Christian conference that day. Among those arrested was the General Secretary of the Nepal Christian Society, Dilli Ram Paudel. Others included in the arrests were an Indian citizen, Gaurav Shrivastava; an American citizen, Leanna Cinquanta; and two Nepalese citizens, Kunsang Tamang and Pramid Kafle. After being detained for ten hours, Leanna’s visa was revoked and she was deported to the United States.
The others are facing criminal charges. Opposition to Christians and other religious minorities has increased markedly since new laws were passed in August 2018, criminalizing any encouragement of religious conversion.• Pray for the remaining Christians who are facing unjust allegations, asking God to mediate on their behalf.
• Pray that His truth and righteousness will be upheld so that His people in Nepal will be able to freely practise their faith.
• Pray the existing anti-conversion laws be repealed so that the religious rights of all will be respected.
WEDNESDAY / Pakistan - ASIA BIBI FINALLY FREE
International news outlets have confirmed that Asia Bibi, who was acquitted of “blasphemy” charges by Pakistan’s Supreme Court in October 2018 has at last left Pakistan.
Apparently Asia Bibi and her family left Pakistan a short while ago and have safely resettled in Canada. In order to avoid the possibility of renewed violence on the streets of Pakistan news that she had left the country for Canada had been delayed till now.
Stringent secrecy has been maintained over Asia Bibi’s whereabouts since her release under government protection last November. The Christian mother of four, who spent nearly eight years on death row, was flown to an undisclosed place of safety in Islamabad after her release from the city of Multan’s woman’s prison.
Her lawyer, Saif-ul-Mulook, fled Pakistan in November 2018 after receiving several death threats. Pakistan’s Supreme Court threw out a petition filed against the acquittal of Asia Bibi in January of this year. The three judges stated no flaw could be found and upheld their original verdict dismissing the accusations against her as a false “concoction”.
• Pray for the continued safety for Asia and her family.
• Thank God for protect-ing her during the past 10 years while she was in prison and then freed. • Pray that Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws will be changed and removed from the criminal code.
• Pray for our AsiaLink Director, Bro. Hamid, his wife Aksa as they oversee our Bible Correspondence School, women’s ministry and the planting of new churches.
THURSDAY / Laos - CHRISTIAN ARRESTED
Police in southern Laos have allegedly arrested, beaten and detained a man in Laos’ southerly Savannakhet province for practicing his Christian faith.
The man named Agoon was arrested for another crime – of illegally cutting trees in a protected forest. However, local sources believe Agoon was unfairly targeted for his faith.
One source stated that Agoon’s involvement in the timber-felling is merely an excuse – as the other loggers in his group, all of whom are non-Christians, were not arrested. Another source explained that Agoon and others cut down trees at the request of a village leader. Officials however rarely enforce the statutes against illegal logging.
In an interview Agoon shared that while imprisoned, the police tried to force him to renounce his faith, but he refused. He was then harshly beaten, slapped to the point that he was unable to hear. It is not uncommon for Christians to face persecution in the Buddhist-majority, communist country. Christianity is often regarded as a Western religion.
• Ask the Lord to strengthen, comfort and heal Agoon.
• Give thanks for Agoon’s faithfulness through this trying ordeal.
• Ask God to continue overseeing the growth of His church in Laos! • Pray for a AsiaLink team member living in the country.
FRIDAY / Brunei - FORGOTTEN COUNTRY ON THE ISLAND OF BORNEO
Churches in the tiny country of Brunei on the island of Borneo, must be registered and are heavily monitored; for this reason there has been considerable growth in secret, house churches.
Brunei is surrounded by Malaysia and the South China Sea and is made up of two distinct sections on Borneo’s northern coast.
A house church leader who oversees a number of these house churches, shared that they can operate in relative freedom as long as they maintain proper security for their gatherings. He shared, “We do not let strangers into our church for fear of them being spies. The Muslim government is strict on non-Islamic gatherings and spies are everywhere.” The handsome reward can be a house, car, secure job or promotion. Sadly, the temptation of the reward can be too much for even some Christian believers. He further stated that some of his own church members have become informers, due to their desperate circumstances.
• Pray for unity in the Brunei churches.
• Pray for the people in this Muslim country.
SATURDAY / Muslim world - RAMADAN’S NIGHT OF POWER
Laylat al-Qadr, known as the “Night of Power” or “Night of Destiny’, occurs around May 31st this year. This celebration recalls the night when the first verses of the Qu’ran were revealed to Islam’s Prophet Muhammed.
Why is this night so special? It is believed that acts of worship performed on this night are worth more than a thousand months of the same on other nights. Sins are more likely to be forgiven on this night and the rewards for charitable acts are expected to be significantly greater.
This night is also called the Night of Destiny because some Muslims also believe that God determines the fate of each believer on this night. Whatever will happen to you and your family in the coming year is decided on this night, so that is also a motivation to make extra effort in worship and supplication. Muslims are seeking God more intentionally on this night than any other.
• Pray that Jesus will reveal Himself through dreams and visions.