Save the Persecuted Christians Coalition Joins Christians Around the Globe in Prayer Vigils for Asia Bibi’s Protection and Safe Passage
Prayer Vigil Planned for Tonight Outside Pakistan Embassy in D.C.
WASHINGTON—The Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC) Coalition is working to share information about global prayer vigils for the Pakistan Christian woman Asia Bibi, who was recently acquitted on charges of blasphemy that kept her on death row for eight years.
Although she may be free legally, Bibi is still in great danger. CitizenGO has announced a slate of vigils to pray and advocate for her and the other Christian victims of persecution in Pakistan, especially as the nation ranks fifth on the World Watch List for Christian persecution from Open Doors USA.
Prayer vigils around the globe are being organized in Zagreb, Croatia; Rome, Italy; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Nairobi, Kenya; Paris, France; London, England; The Hague, Netherlands; Warsaw, Poland; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Frankfurt, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; Toronto, Canada; and in Washington, D.C. In the nation’s capital, a vigil is planned from 6 to 7 p.m. Nov. 15 outside of the Embassy of Pakistan, 3517 International Court NW. The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, will lead the prayer.
“Asia Bibi’s trials are far from over,” said Dede Laugesen, director of the Save the Persecuted Christians Coalition. “Many in her country still want to see her die for her supposed crime of blasphemy. Asia’s fellow Christians must remain in prayer for her and her family, that they will be able to find safety away from Pakistan. Equally important is for Pakistan to know the world is watching out for Asia and her fellow Pakistani Christians. For those who cannot pray in person at one of the global prayer events, we ask that Asia’s brothers and sisters in Christ pray for her from their communities during the Washington, D.C., vigil. God will hear our prayers for his persecuted children and Pakistan will be held accountable.”
Specifically in Bibi’s case, Sharia supremacists and the extremist Islamic political party in Pakistan have caused much civil unrest and violence and are continuing to demand her death. Several groups advocating on behalf of persecuted Christians are petitioning to put pressure on the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, to do everything possible to ensure Bibi’s safe passage out of Pakistan.
“Much of the Christian persecution in Pakistan,” Open Doors reports, “comes from radical Islamic groups that flourish under the favor of political parties, the army and the government. These radical Islamic groups run thousands of Islamic education centers where youth are taught and encouraged to persecute religious minorities like Christians.”
The Pakistani Supreme Court noted in its acquittal of Bibi that since 1990 at least 62 people have lost their lives to mob violence before their blasphemy cases were ever brought before the court.
For more information on the D.C. vigil, click here. Organizers are also encouraging peaceful prayer outside as many Pakistani Embassies in as many countries as possible to let Khan know the international community is watching and expects Bibi to be protected, treated justly and given safe passage out of the country.
The STPC Coalition works diligently to disseminate actionable information about ways in which Americans can help Christians in Pakistan like Bibi and elsewhere who are being persecuted for their faith in Christ. Especially in light of immense global oppression, raising awareness about Christian persecution is crucial, as violence toward and imprisonment of Christians occurs so routinely it rarely makes the news.
For example, according to Open Doors, 255 Christians are killed worldwide every month. 104 Christians are abducted. 180 Christian women are raped, sexually assaulted or forced into marriage. 160 Christians are detained or imprisoned without trial. And 66 churches are attacked. Every month.
With such staggering statistics, and the knowledge that most of these crimes are not covered in the media, the STPC Coalition developed a dedicated news aggregator—www.ChristianPersecutionNews.com—to capture current instances of persecution that do make the news and to provide readers an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others.
One of the simple and economical ways Americans can render support is by encouraging their pastors and faith leaders to visit www.SaveThePersecutedChristians.org and to order a free banner to display in front of their houses of worship. These simple banners feature a graphic “Save Us” plea with a cross and the coalition’s website where Americans can learn about the global persecution of Christians and find out more about what they can do to help stop it.
With so much of the world’s population attacked, imprisoned or exiled for their beliefs—such as Christians in Pakistan—the need for the sort of movement the STPC Coalition is working to foster has never been greater. Its efforts are modeled after a campaign that helped free another population suffering from heavy persecution, Soviet Jews, by holding its persecutors in the Kremlin accountable and imposing real costs for its repression of people of faith. The Coalition’s movement in our time aims to provide American policymakers with the popular support they need to effect real change worldwide and lastingly alleviate the suffering of those persecuted simply because they follow Jesus Christ.