» 04/14/2014, 00.00
Lahore: third postponement in Asia Bibi's appeal as Islamist threats against judges continue
High Court began proceedings this morning, only to adjourn the hearing. A new date for a case that has lasted for years might be announced tomorrow. Optimistic, the defendant's lawyers hope to see her walk free soon. However, fundamentalist groups continue to make threats. For Lahore priest, "the situation in Pakistan is getting worse by the day, not only for minorities, but especially for women and girls."
Faisalabad: Muslim leaders defend young Christian against false blasphemy accusations
Philip Masih was accused of removing a poster on a shop wall by a Muslim neighbour who got armed men together to punish the alleged blasphemer. The police and the authorities successfully prevented a violent escalation. The two had argued before and the Muslim man wanted revenge.
Pakistani (and Christian) women lead the defence of minority rights
Romana Bashir has dedicated her life to interfaith harmony and women's education in order to change the country's mindset. Today she is a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Women's presence in political institutions and civil society is "a positive sign".
Asia Bibi prays for freedom but judges are hostage of fundamentalists
Ashiq Masih saw his wife in prison. She is frail but “high in spirit”. Prison guard is suspended for having “hot words” with Asia Bibi as prison security is tightened. The family continues to hope for her release, but judges are threatened by Muslim extremists. Pakistan mourns the death of Begum Nusrat Bhutto.
Punjab: Christian family held slave to a Muslim landowner for 30 years
The father had signed a loan for his daughter's wedding. Interest rates of up to 500%, made it impossible to repay the money. So 26 people, including women and children, have lived like modern slaves in ten household of a Muslim. More cases of marriages and forced conversions of Christian girls.
Blasphemy law, a sword hanging over our heads
Asia Bibi’s case is but the latest in a long series of tragedies due to the infamous law, which sows fear in people. The Church of Pakistan is a Church that suffers, but it has a prophetic role to play: “bring hope to an entire people”.
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