A Christian mother-of-five who spent a decade on death row in Pakistan has called for the release of those across the world who remain imprisoned for their faith. Asia Bibi, who was imprisoned for almost a decade on bogus blasphemy charges, said that it was time those who detain innocent people in defiance of the law "are brought to justice".
Writing a foreword for Aid to the Church in Need's new report 'Set the Captives Free', Bibi wrote: "Today… there are countless numbers of people who are unjustly detained – like me, their offence is the faith they refuse to renounce.
“It is time that those who detain innocent people in defiance of the law are brought to justice.
“It is time for governments to act. It is time to rally in support of our faithful communities, vulnerable, poor and persecuted.
“We should not rest until the oppressor finally hears our cry: ‘Set your captives free’.”
The ACN report highlighted the story of Christian schoolgirl Leah Sharibu, who remains in the clutches of Islamic terror group Boko Haram after being kidnapped from her school in 2018. It also noted the plight of a young Pakistani girl, Maira Shahbaz, who is currently in hiding after escaping from her abductor after being raped and forcibly married.
"One thing that so many of the people featured in this report have in common is that they are forced to suffer in silence," Bibi added.
“It is time that the world hears these stories – it is time to speak truth to power.”