Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - Christian churches and groups in Pakistan responded to the call of Asia Bibi to join her in a special day of prayer and fasting on 27 April for her release. The campaign was launched through Asia Bibi’s family, who visited her recently, and the Renaissance Education Foundation Lahore which supports the family members of Asia Bibi and deals with the legal costs of the Case.
Fr. Arthur Charles, parish priest at St John Parish in Karachi immediately sent the message to priests and catechists to inform the faithful using social media. Speaking with Fides, Fr. Arthur Charles said: “I hope to spread the message widely; in my parish community we will have prayers for Asia on two consecutive Fridays and special prayers for her at all Masses next Sunday 29 April ”.
Asia Bibi called on Christians all over the world to pray and fast with her on 27 April when she heard that Judge Saqib Nisar of the Supreme Court of Pakistan had announced: “We will soon make an appointment to hear the case of Asia Bibi”, giving new hope for Mrs Bibi’s release.
Fr. Qaisar Feroz OFM Cap parish priest at St Anthony church in Lahore, joined the initiative and will celebrate Holy Mass for this intention, tomorrow Friday 27 April. Fr. Feroz told Fides: “I trust the decision will be taken on the basis of Justice, I pray the judges will not be conditioned by political or extremist pressure and grant justice to Asia Bibi”.
A local Lay Catholic movement ‘Jesus Youth Pakistan’, urged its members, friends and supporters to join the campaign. Daniel Bashir, the group coordinator told Fides they have organised “an hour of adoration in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist to entrust to Him the life of Asia”.
A media and social network tom-tom has been activated: Adeel Patras Chaudhry, Director of Jesus Live TV, a Christian TV channel in Pakistan, immediately gave the news in a TV broadcast. In a message to Fides, he said: "I foresee great hope for Asia Bibi, justice will soon be done”.
Emmanuel Neno, Executive Secretary of the Catechesis Commission of the Conference of Pakistani Catholic Bishops ,remarked to Fides: “We are members of the body of Christ, when one part suffers the whole body suffers. We are with Asia Bibi to pray and fast for her”. Fr. Yousuf George, of the diocese of Faisalabad, also assured his prayers: “In the Church of St Joseph we are praying with you, Asia Bibi, may Our Lord Jesus, Prince of peace and justice be with you”. Friar Pascal Robert OFM, a Pakistani Friar residing in Turkey, used his Facebook page to share a brief prayer for Asia Bibi: “May God reunite you with your family”. (AG) (Agenzia Fides 26/4/2018)