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Asia Bibi can’t leave in deal with protesters demanding her death

THIS NEWS IS VERY SAD. After Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted Asia Bibi on October 31st, the hard-line Islamist movement Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) took to the streets in massive protests throughout Pakistan demanding her public execution by hanging.

As The Guardian reports: “Bibi, a Christian farm labourer, was acquitted of blasphemy on Wednesday. She had spent eight years on death row after she drank from the same cup as a Muslim, prompting false allegations that she insulted the prophet Muhammad.”

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Persecution.org reports:

“Extremist groups have called for the Supreme Court Justices to be killed and for their decision to be reviewed.” In fear of his life, Asia Bibi’s lawyer Saif-Ul-Malook, the Supreme Court Advocate for Asia Bibi, has fled the country.

I think I have absolutely no safety,” Malook told NDTV. “No security and I am the easiest target… anybody can kill me.

“Despite this lack of safety, Malook says that he has no regrets in taking up Bibi’s case.”

The Pakistani government defended the Supreme Court’s ruling and supported it militarily. However, the protests have dramatically disrupted the nation and caused $1.2B in damages. Now the ruling administration has struck a deal with the hard-line TLP that, according to the BBC:

  • Releases all protesters who were arrested and investigates any violence done against them
  • Starts a legal process to ban Asia Bibi from leaving the country
  • Asks protesters to stop and to disperse
  • Allows a petition to be filed that would force a review of Pakistan’s Supreme Court’s verdict of her acquittal

Asia Bibi is scheduled to be released later this week; a move that The Guardian says is her death warrant.

Sunday, November 4th, is the International Day of Pray for the Persecuted Church. Please pray for:

  • Asia’s protection and escape from Pakistan
  • The protection of Pakistani Christians
  • God to confound the persecutors

May the peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

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Rob Oberto, D.Min., is the award-winning author of “Intimacy With God” available from Amazon. ©2018 Rob Oberto, All Rights Reserved.

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Asia Bibi acquitted of blasphemy! Allowed to leave Pakistan.

Prayer answered!! More needed. Late last night the news reported that on October 31, Pakistan’s supreme court’s decided to acquit Asia Bibi, keep her safe, and allow her to leave the country. Christians around the globe have been praying for her ever since she was arrested on false blasphemy charges in 2009.

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The Pakistani supreme court’s decision was challenging and dangerous. The mob pressure to execute her was, and still is, intense. Many want her dead because someone accused her of blasphemy against Mohammad. They have been chanting “Hang infidel Asia.” The Guardian reports: Protests erupt in Pakistan after blasphemy conviction overturned – video.

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The judges overturned Asia Bibi’s death sentence because there was no evidence to support the charges against her. Hearsay is not evidence. Much to their credit and courage, the court made its decision facing threats of being viciously killed unless they executed her. Yet, if they found her innocent, the minority Christians throughout Pakistan would be placed in greater peril than normal. Despite all the threats, potential repercussions, and controversy, they adhered to the evidence of law and the principal that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

CBS summed-up the court’s decision saying: “The Supreme Court concluded that it was ‘inescapable’ that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against Asia Bibi, a mother of five who was convicted in 2010 for insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad during an argument. She remained on death row while appealing the case.”

International Christian Concern reported: “Bibi, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy in 2009, was the only woman in Pakistan’s history to be sentenced to death under the country’s notorious blasphemy laws. The 56-page judgment, authored by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nasir, found that the prosecution against Bibi had not proved the blasphemy charges beyond a reasonable doubt and that the presumption of innocence remained with the accused.”

The hours days and weeks to come will expose the heart and soul of the people of Pakistan. I thank God for opening the hearts of the judges to do the right thing by acquitting Asia Bibi, protecting her, and allowing her to leave the country. I pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal God’s righteousness to the Pakistani people, and that they will find peace in Christ. I pray that my own country will do the same as the mobs here are also rising up against law and order, and committing violence against any opposing their pursuit of political control.

May the peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

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Rob Oberto, D.Min., is the award-winning author of “Intimacy With God” available from Amazon. ©2018 Rob Oberto, All Rights Reserved.

#Asiabibi

 

 

Please pray for Asia Bibi’s acquittal and God’s abundant grace in Pakistan.

OUR PRAYER IS CRITICAL at this very moment. Asia Bibi is a Christian Pakistani mother of five who has been languishing in prison since 2010. I’ve been following her process through Pakistan’s judicial system for several years. Her final appeal was made to a special, three-member bench of Pakistan’s Supreme Court on October 12th, 2018. The judges are deciding her fate. Their decision is expected by the end of October. You can see a picture of Asia on the American Center for Law and Justice’s October 18th update, where she is asking for our prayers.

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International Christian Concern’s report on October 16, explains:

The accusation against Bibi stems back to an argument between Bibi, a Christian, and her Muslim coworkers in 2009. Bibi’s coworkers became very angry with Bibi after she used the same water bowl as the Muslims. In Pakistan, Christians are often associated with being low caste and untouchable. In the argument that followed, Bibi’s coworkers claim that she used derogatory language against the Prophet Muhammad, violating Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws.

Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are often abused to settle personal scores or incite religious hatred. Little to no evidence is typically needed beyond an accusation to incite mob violence against the individual accused and the border community that individual represents if a member of a minority community.

The crowds are demanding she be executed by hanging, see The Christian Post’s article, and they have threatened Pakistan’s Supreme Court justices with horrible deaths if they release her. Yet, her release will result in a fury of persecution against Pakistan’s minority Christians. This decision, however, will reach beyond Pakistan’s borders to every Islamic country, and every Muslim-Christian interaction. The situation is a powder-keg that only God’s power, grace, and wisdom can defuse. Your prayer is needed.

Please pray for:

  • Asia’s release, her family, and her continued faith
  • The protection of Pakistan’s Christians
  • God to confound and convert the persecutors.
  • God to open the hearts of the judges to His righteousness

May the peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

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Rob Oberto, D.Min., is the award-winning author of “Intimacy With God” available from Amazon. ©2018 Rob Oberto, All Rights Reserved.

Husbands Love Our Wives as Jesus Commands — Pastor Unlikely

I’m sharing this recent post of my blogger friend Pastor Unlikely. His message is a good reminder of the example of love that Jesus modeled for us. Enjoy!

Jesus Gave Everything for His Bride We are often derailed from the marriage that Jesus wants for us by our innate desire to protect ourselves. Too often we apply the world’s wisdom to our relationships and not God’s. 1,356 more words

via Husbands Love Our Wives as Jesus Commands — Pastor Unlikely

The New American Standard Bible is getting updated in 2020

IN CASE YOU ARE UNAWARE, the Lockman Foundation is in the process of updating the New American Standard Bible translation. I’ve been following their progress for awhile now. In September, they started posting passages from the new version on their Facebook page. I’m regularly checking the status of their progress and posting it to my blog post:  “New American Standard Bible (NASB) – 2020 release news.” Check it out.

May the peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

Like, follow, share. #nasbupdate2020

Rob Oberto, D.Min, is the award-winning author of Intimacy with God, available from Amazon. ©2018 Rob Oberto, All Rights Reserved.

 

Who is Jesus? Key biblical, historical, and scientific evidence.

LAST WEEK I SPOKE AT OUR ALPHA MINISTRY answering the critical question: Who is Jesus? I shared some of the key biblical, historical, and scientific evidence that I have gleaned from over 39 years of academic, professional, and personal study.

Who is Jesus?
The Messiah, the Son of God, the Son of Man, and the King of the Jews

I begin with the short version of how I came to know Jesus. The degree in which God intervened in my life is a bit unusual. Nevertheless, as powerful as a personal experience with God can be, experiences must always agree, in whole and in part, with the truth that God has revealed in Scripture. And Scriptural truth, if it is True, will be enjoy biblical and non-biblical support. We will see that it does:

  1. Who do I say He is?
  2. Who did Jesus say He was?
  3. When did the Old Testament say the Messiah would live, and did Jesus live at that time?

Continue reading “Who is Jesus? Key biblical, historical, and scientific evidence.”

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church 2018 is November 4

Each year, the Voice of the Martyrs, provides resources for churches to participate in the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. This year they offer the following:

“Join thousands of churches across the United States and the world in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters. This year, the Voice of the Martyrs is pleased to offer the 2018 IDOP video Fassal: Pakistan…. The video can be used during a church service, small-group meeting or Sunday school class to inform and encourage believers to pray.”

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Other church resources are available from their site as well.

I support the work of the Voice of the Martyrs, and each day I pray for the worldwide Church. On behalf of our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray for God to:

  • Comfort His people
  • Provide for their needs
  • Deliver them from persecution, prison, punishment, and slander
  • Encourage them and give them hope
  • Confound and convert their persecutors

I invite you to pray for the Church too.

Yours in Christ,

Rob Oberto

 

 

Fiji – Where Jesus Gives Vinaka Bula! (Eternal Life!)

TWO WEEKS AGO, WE RETURNED HOME from a family get-together in Fiji. It was fabulous! For over a year I’ve wanted to gather our family from the four-corners of the earth at one geo-location. We hadn’t seen our older daughter in two years, and it would have been another two if we didn’t go on this trip. We all needed this vacation, and we needed to be disconnected and away from our worlds. Fiji is located half-way between us. It was the nicest and least expensive option. In addition to all the practicalities, the Lord blessed us in a multitude of unanticipated ways. Continue reading “Fiji – Where Jesus Gives Vinaka Bula! (Eternal Life!)”

Does Pastoral Abuse Invalidate Christianity?

A just released, 887-page grand jury report states that 301 Catholic priests have abused 1,000 children over a 70-year period in Pennsylvania. The report also documents the church leadership’s massive cover up of these unconscionable acts. The problem was systemic. The church hierarchy not only failed to protect the most vulnerable under their care; they hid it. The report’s findings are tragic and contemptible. Real lives were, and still are, devastated. God takes such heinous sin seriously: Continue reading “Does Pastoral Abuse Invalidate Christianity?”

The Unforgivable Sin: Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

HAVE YOU EVER SQUIRMED OUT OF CONCERN that you may have committed the unforgivable sin? I did, when I first read about it in Matthew 12:31. What is “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and why is this sin unforgivable?” Let’s look at the larger context of Mt 12:22–32 to better understand what Jesus meant.

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The passage begins with Jesus healing a demon-possessed man who was both blind and mute. The crowds were amazed at this miracle and asked if He was the Son of David, the promised Messiah. When the Pharisees heard what the people were asking, they declared in 12:24, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

Continue reading “The Unforgivable Sin: Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”