Pakistani court finds Asia Bibi ‘more sinned against than sinning’
International | Ruling implies additional protection for non-Muslims in the country
by Mindy Belz
Posted 10/31/18, 01:25 pm
PAKISTAN: The Pakistani Supreme Court acquitted Asia Bibi, a Catholic mother of five held on death row since 2010 on blasphemy charges, and ordered her freed. In its judgment overturning lower court convictions, the court said Bibi “appears to be a person, in the words of Shakespeare’s King Leare [sic], ‘more sinned against than sinning.’”
- Supreme Court Judge, Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, in language that implies further protection for non-Muslims, ended the ruling by quoting from a hadith pledging, “Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.”
- Islamist parties immediately pronounced opposition to the ruling, and turned out in the streets in protest—threatening Bibi, her family, and the judges.
CAMEROON: Charles Wesco spent two years raising support to serve with his family as missionaries in Cameroon, and less than two weeks after their arrival, the husband and father of eight children was shot and killed, apparently while driving on a shopping trip in Bamenda. The U.S. State Department confirmed Wesco’s death Tuesday but did not confirm a report he was killed by Cameroonian security forces. The Indiana native served alongside his father, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in South Bend, Ind.
SOUTH SUDAN: Rebel leader and former Vice President Riek Machar returned to Juba, the capital of the war-torn country established in 2011. Last month, Machar signed a peace deal with President Salva Kiir to end five years of fighting that has left nearly 400,000 people dead and displaced 4.5 million.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Distrust of the Kabila government has led to violence toward health workers in the aftermath of Ebola deaths. It’s little noted how such outbreaks fuel an economic crisis, reported missionary physician Warren Cooper.
COLOMBIA: Two years after a peace accord ended five decades of civil war, pastors in rural Colombia still fear for their lives—a WORLD Magazine exclusive report.
MEXICO: A second migrant caravan has forged its way across the Guatemalan border to Mexico—but both groups combined represent only a few days’ worth of the average flow of migrants to the United States, a regular occurrence largely unnoticed over the years, as the flow of immigrants at U.S. borders is at an all-time low. Despite stepped-up border security, the number of illegal immigrants apprehended thus far in 2018 is on pace to be the lowest in all but four of the last 45 years.
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Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.