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.

#asiabibi

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.

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

 

 

To What Name Should We pray?

It’s popular to pray using some of the near 500 names, titles, and attributes of God found in the Bible. A study of these words is good and beneficial in furthering one’s understanding of God in the Old and New Testaments. For such a study, I highly recommend John Avery’s excellent book The Name Quest.1

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Oh God, HEAL ME!

Stomach flu, or gastroenteritis, is, to put it politely, unpleasant. I seemed to have suffered from it more often than other children. I dreaded the experience. No one, I’m sure, ever happily said, “I have a stomach flu and can’t wait for the finale.” But it appeared to affect me more severely than most.

Fortunately, three decades passed without contracting this type of flu again. Those dreadful memories had long since faded. But then, one Sunday morning, my stomach felt a little queasy. I shrugged it off, but it progressively worsened—you know where this is heading. Around mid-afternoon the feeling became vaguely familiar, but I didn’t know why. Eventually it hit me: “Oh no, I remember this!”

A few hours later, and right on schedule as I recalled the process, it was time to head to the, um, loo.

God was watching.

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“Smack up against God’s grace”

“Pastor Rob, a man arrived requesting to talk with a minister,” my secretary announced one early Monday afternoon.

I met Ted (not his real name) in the waiting room. He was clean cut and in his mid-thirties. I had just spent two hours helping sixteen people with food and other types of assistance. “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought as we walked back to my office.

Ted sat down and came right to the point, “My wife threw me out of the house. I’ve been living in my truck for the past three days, and it’s all my fault.”

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“God, help me save my daughter!”

We can never know when a Goliath will suddenly appear. At any moment, we can be confronted with a life threatening situation and must call upon the Lord to act, or someone will die. Moments like these are not the time to start developing a strong relationship with God, when they arise we must already have one.

My wife and I are beach bums from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Summer days on the Cape are typically hazy, hot, and humid. The three H’s, as the weathermen would say, are what we associated with beaches. That is, until we moved to the Pacific Northwest.

Summer

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Can A Mafioso Be Saved?

There’s no question of God’s love for us. He created us. He died and rose from the dead in the person of Jesus Christ so that we can have eternal life with Him. The question is: do we genuinely love God? God sees deep into our hearts. He knows the answer to that question. We can’t fool, outwit, or manipulate Him. Many have tried. The one person that I knew who tried the most was a man we will simply call Mr. T.

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Healing Prayer at 8,100 feet

A few years ago, I attended a Christian men’s retreat at a beautiful, rugged lodge nestled in the thin air of the Colorado Rockies. It was a well-organized and spiritually meaty retreat. A few years prior, I attended one at the same location. Both retreats aimed right for the heart: no hype, no fluff. I like that.

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Healing prayer was the topic of the Saturday morning session. I was familiar with it. I had been practicing and teaching healing prayer for twelve years. The leader and his team did an excellent job demonstrating it to all 430 men in attendance. The follow-up assignment was for the group of men in each cabin to duplicate the leaders’ example. I was curious how this would go since most attendees had not done this before, but I also knew that healing prayer was a work of God, not of men. I looked forward to what He would do. Usually, if we cooperate with God a little, He’ll do a lot.

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