The Church of Scotland is backing the campaign to secure the release of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman imprisoned under Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law.
Asia Bibi, held in Pakistan for contravening Blasphemy laws.
Asia Bibi was convicted in November 2010, and the Church of Scotland which has strong ties with the Pakistan Government, immediately called for her to be released and pardoned.
Now the Very Rev Andrew McLellan, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council, and the rev Ian Galloway, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council have put their names to a letter urging the Pakistani authorities to release and pardon her.
The letter was read out during a three hour rally in Trafalgar Square, which was organized to commemorate the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Minister for Minorities Affairs.
The Kirk gave financial help in the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan and the more recent devastating floods. This allowed aid to reach communities of all faiths which had been affected by the disasters.
The Very Rev Andrew McLellan, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council, said: “We urge the Government of Pakistan to release and pardon Asia Bibi and to ensure that she and her family are protected from those who would seek take the law into their own hands.
“The Church of Scotland is concerned about the use and abuse of the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan to settle scores, exact revenge or inflame religious extremism. We urge the Government of Pakistan to repeal this law, which was designed to protect people of all faiths and to promote respect for all religions.
“Unfortunately it is being used to intimidate and terrorise minority faith communities in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This goes against the traditions and teachings of Islam and is contrary to the culture of the majority of Pakistanis.”
March 12th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross