Pakistani Christians Fear Extremists’ Hostility Following Asia Bibi’s Acquittal
10/31/2018 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Pakistani Christians fear that the hostility of extremists will be unleashed on their community following the Supreme Court’s decision to acquit Asia Bibi, a Christian woman formally sentenced to death for committing blasphemy.
Earlier today, Pakistan’s Supreme Court announced its decision to acquit Bibi of the blasphemy charges and rendered her death sentence null and void. Following this announcement, religious extremists took to the streets to protest against the decision and advocated for harsher blasphemy laws. Clashes between protesters and police have already been reported.
“The situation on the roads is very tense today,” a Christian from Lahore, speaking on condition of anonymity, told International Christian Concern (ICC). “Muslims have blocked the roads, set fire to tires, and are protesting continuously. Christian are feeling very insecure.”
“The situation all over the country is very tough,” another Christian from Sindh, also speaking on condition of anonymity, reported. “Serious threats are being expected. All over the country is blocked now because people are demonstrating against the decision. Remember us in your prayers.”
Bibi’s case remains highly sensitive in Pakistan. After the Supreme Court heard final arguments in the case earlier this month, on October 8, extremists took to the streets in Lahore, Karachi, and Rawalpindi, demanding the government put Bibi to death.
Extremist groups like the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan warned of “terrible consequences” for the Supreme Court Justices if Bibi was allowed to flee the country. Others threatened to bring the country to a standstill using sit-ins and other forms of protest.
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