For more than three years, Christians around the world have been praying for Aasiya Noreen, also known as Aasiya Bibi. As the first woman ever to be given the death penalty under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law, the mother of five highlights the injustice of Pakistan’s legal system and marginalizing of the Christian minority.
For her own safety, Open Doors partners in Pakistan have been able to give out little information to those who ask questions and want to help her. Aasiya’s family has been forced into hiding due to security concerns. It still can only be confirmed that she is in prison and has little or no contact with others. Any lawyer who wants to take up her case puts his life at risk. Also, he might put Aasiya’s life further at risk as well as her family members.
Aasiya is one of more than 100 million Christians who face persecution in more than 60 countries around the world simply because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Seventy percent of the world’s 6.8 billion people live in countries with high or some restrictions on religion, according to a study by the Pew Research Forum on Religion & Public Life. The persecution and lack of religious freedom often leave believers feeling like they suffer alone.
For this reason, Open Doors is asking free Christians to be "one with them."
One With Them is a call to action to unite with persecuted believers, not just on the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), but during the months leading up to the special day Sunday, Nov. 11. Through prayer and advocacy, Christians in the United States are urged to join millions who share their faith but not their freedom.
One way Christians in the United States can show their support for the persecuted is through One With Them wristbands. Wearing the black, flexible silicone wristband that looks like barbed wire is a great conversation starter. The wristbands provide an opportunity to explain to others the plight of persecuted believers.
“The story of Aasiya Bibi has come to represent the needs of Christians caught in conflict, in search of both justice and healing,” says Open Doors USA president and CEO Carl Moeller. “Her story continues to show the local church that the global church will not forget to pray and believe for one woman named Aasiya, and millions of other Christians who are suffering for their faith in Jesus Christ."