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Christian Freedom International Calls on UN to Condemn Pakistani Woman's Death Sentence

Contact: Craig McDonald, Christian Freedom International, 906-253-2336

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., Nov. 11 /Christian Newswire/ -- Asia Bibi, a Christian wife and mother of five, was sentenced to death this week in Pakistan for the crime of blaspheming the Prophet Mohammed. The verdict has brought forth an international rallying cry from human rights advocates, including Christian Freedom International (CFI), a Michigan-based organization that assists persecuted Christians around the world.

Bibi was sent to prison in June 2009, after a confrontation with several Muslim co-workers who had been relentlessly pressuring her to convert to Islam. After Bibi finally countered the women's arguments by explaining how Jesus had died on the cross and asking what Mohammed had done for them, she was beaten by the women and taken into police custody on blasphemy charges.

Reports indicate that although Bibi's supporters urged authorities to dismiss the charges, prosecution moved forward anyway because of pressure by local Muslim leaders.

In addition to the death sentence, Bibi has also received a fine of $700 -- the equivalent of two and a half years' wages. She is the first Christian woman to receive the death penalty on charges of blasphemy in Pakistan.

CFI, which has provided relief aid and advocacy for hundreds of Pakistani Christians in recent years, states that the blasphemy law is routinely used as a method of persecution and oppression in Muslim-dominated societies like Pakistan. The organization is launching an online petition drive to urge the United Nations to condemn Bibi’s death sentence, and to urge the Pakistani government to actively protect the rights of the country's estimated three million minority Christians.

CFI also urges Christians everywhere to pray for an appeal of Asia Bibi's sentence, and for the safety of Bibi and her family during this difficult time.

To learn more about CFI’s work in Pakistan, visit www.christianfreedom.org.