Category Archives: Pakistan

Asia Bibi–Wife & Mom; Catholic/Christian and "Blasphemer"; Sentenced to Death for Loving Jesus

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

 Asia Bibi is a Catholic wife,  mother of five and our sister in faith. She will stand before the Supreme Court of Pakistan during the month of October, 2016, and hear the final verdict as to whether or not she should be executed by hanging. You see, Asia has been convicted  of being a “blasphemer”. She has been in prison for the past seven years.

Imagine being this woman. You have been living amidst the filth and squalor of a Pakistani prison. You wonder about your children You miss them so much. You need to hug them, touch them, feel their hair or just squeeze their hands(s). Then a distant memory floats to the forefront of your worn out mind. You remember that day in 2009…was it June..no, maybe August.  You remember being out in the field picking berries. There are other women working alongside you but…there is a difference. They are Muslim and, to them, you are “unclean”. They despise you. You are a Catholic.

Asia Bibi & Children  courtesy gatestoneinstitute.org

These other women demanded you fetch them water from a nearby well. You were not their “equals” and did what you were told. You went to the well, filled a jug for the women and brought it back to them. But you made a mistake. You knew you could not drink from the same jug so you found an old tin can and poured water into it for yourself. You remember the momentary relief as the water slid down your throat..

Alas, using the dirty, rusted cup to drink from mattered not. A field hand angrily tells you that you are forbidden to drink the SAME water as a Muslim. You are already considered “unclean” because you are a Catholic/Christian. The other workers hurriedly gathered around you and started cursing you and your religion. Your faith must have been exploding in you because you defended it immediately. You summoned your resolve and remember saying, “I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ who died for the sins of mankind. What did your prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind?”

The other women exploded with rage. You were beaten and arrested. Under the country’s Sharia Law you are not equal to a Muslim so what you had to say was only considered “half” as important as what they had to say. Trying to defend yourself was an effort in futility. They hold you in a local jail for one year and then you are found guilty of blasphemy. Your sentence is death by hanging. You are shocked and horrified and helpless. Your husband is sickened and your children lost inside themselves. You can do nothing.

You are sent to prison and placed on death row. Five years later the Pakistani Supreme Court upheld the verdict. That was appealed and the hanging was put on hold. It has been announced that sometime during the middle of October, 2016, the High Court of Pakistan will render a FINAL verdict. Asia Bibi, Catholic “blasphemer “, lover and defender of Jesus Christ, will hear whether or not she lives or dies.

I cannot help but feel a deep affinity for Asia Bibi and all those who live under such incredibly hateful conditions.. After all, we are all part of the same spiritual family. They are people just like you and I. They love their spouses and children and their moms and dads. They get the flu and upset stomachs. They get rashes and toothaches and they have wants and desires. They want a nice home that is safe and secure. They would like to have a church they can go to without a fear of being killed or maimed for doing so. They just want to worship the God they love and have some peace in their lives. Yet, they are hated and despised. Why–because they are just like us. They are Catholic/Christian and believe in Jesus Christ.

This morning, I was able to drive over to my church and attend morning Mass. No fuss, no muss, no anxiety existed. No one mocked me. No one cursed me. On the contrary, going to Mass in America is a beautiful experience that is filled with peace and love. After all, we are free Americans allowed to practice our religion unencumbered (so far).

Asia Bibi is just one of thousands of our brothers and sisters in faith whose lives are in jeopardy at this very moment. Just like us, they love Jesus Christ. There is a glaring difference. We Americans  can pour another cup of coffee and say another prayer. Our brothers and sisters in faith, living in the lands of the persecuted,  can be brutally killed for doing the exact same thing.

The winds of secularism are growing stronger and stronger, blowing  against the doors and walls of America’s churches. Behind those doors and walls our religious freedoms are still secure. Venturing outside those walls we find that across America those freedoms are being eroded right before our eyes. We had better be careful. As St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) said, The nation doesn’t simply need what we have. It needs what we are.”  

We must fight to stay who we are, inside and out.

 Please pray for our sister, Asia Bibi. She faces a horrible death because she loves Jesus. A different place or a different time, that could be any one of us.

                               Copyright ©Larry Peterson 2016

Remembering Nauman Masih, age 14, Killed for Being Christian

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Nauman Masih, age 14, beaten and burned because he was a
Christian. He died on April 14, 2015.

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson 
Beginning at sunset on April 15 and ending the following evening, Jews around the world observe Yom HaShoah aka  Holocaust Remembrance Day . It may be time to change the name to simply, “Holocaust Day” because the genocidal onslaught continues with no end in sight.

The picture is of 14 year old, Nauman Masih. On Friday, April 10, he was walking home in Pakistan when he was stopped by some young men. They asked him if he was a Christian. He replied “Yes.”

The boy was not “smart” enough to “lie”. The fact of the matter is, he was PROUD that he was Christian and was not about to deny it. He tried to run but he was chased down and beaten. Then the group of demonic cowards poured gasoline all over him, lit him on fire and ran away. Along with the flames, I cannot even imagine the fear, pain and anguish they engulfed this fledgling teenager. Nauman, his skinny body ablaze and his skin melting away, managed to crawl to a nearby pile of sand and began rolling around to smother his burning flesh. Passers-by helped and got him to the hospital. He lived long enough to tell what had happened.

Yesterday, April 14, his is suffering ended.  Nauman Masih, Pakistani teenager, died. He died a martyr, murdered  for his faith. All of us Christians, being his brothers and sisters in faith,  can only imagine the wondrous peace and joy that was awaiting Nauman as he passed from this life. We must also remember his family and pray for them for their grief is a fresh wound that will take much time to heal. Our prayers will help their healing process.

Today WE Catholic/Christians are being slaughtered. Throughout Europe, in Syria, Kenya, Somalia, Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan and other places, tens of thousands of our brothers and sisters in faith are brutally murdered by being shot, beheaded, burned alive, starved  and even crucified. Why is this happening? Because the satanic fueled HATRED toward followers of Jesus Christ knows no bounds. We here in the United States are only being spared because we live here. We just happened to be blessed by where we are. But even here, in America, there are those who would kill us all, simply for loving Jesus Christ. We certainly are under a relentless verbal attack.

Pope Francis stood tall Sunday when he called out the Ottoman Turks for perpetrating the first Genocide of the 20th century. The Turkish government was not happy and recalled their ambassador. The want to deny the fact that over one million Armenian Catholics were killed from 1915 thru 1917 by the trio of Muslim Turkish leaders known as the Young Turks. Then along came Adolf Hitler who hated the Jews and orchestrated the genocide known as the Holocaust. Hitler declared his actions were “in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator”. (Why do evil people always seem to claim  they are doing “God’s will”?)  Besides six million Jews another six million people were also slaughtered during his maniacal reign.

Adolf Hitler was the personification of evil during the 20th Century.  Josef Stalin of Russia rivaled Hitler as he was responsible for the annihilation of almost 25 million of his own people during his reign. This included over seven million during his “forced famine” of 1932-1933.

During the 20th century genocide has occurred in China, Nazi Germany, Cambodia (under Pol Pot), in Rwanda and in Bosnia. Countless millions of people just like us (whether Catholic/Christian, Jewish, and Muslim), have been exterminated for their personal beliefs. We are now in the 15th year of the 21st century.  Like locusts devouring a field of wheat, Muslim fanatics called ISIS, Al-Queda, Boko-Haram, Hamas, or whatever else they choose to call themselves, commit their evil in the name of Allah unencumbered and free to have their fill. They rape, burn, kidnap. behead, hang, crucify and do whatever other vicious, evil thing they can do to strike FEAR into their “enemy”. Where is the world’s outrage? Who will defend the Nauman Masihs of the world? Who will stand up for the women and children and babies that are objects of this incomprehensible evil? Is not GOOD required to confront EVIL? I believe it is.

Tomorrow, on April 16 at 10 a.m., the entire nation of Israel will stop doing whatever they are doing. Sirens throughout the country will begin to wail, traffic will stop, people will exit their vehicles and stand erect. This will continue for two minutes in honor of all those who perished in the Holocaust. On this Holocaust Remembrance Day it may be time for the Christian world to stand up at 10 a.m., along with our Jewish brothers and sisters. The genocide of today is now directed at all of us who are part of the Judeo-Christian connection.

                              copyright©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights Reserved

Mother of Five, Sentenced to be Hanged, Pleads, "Please Do Not Abandon Me!"

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

Back on October 22, I wrote a blog  about a wife and mother of five kids who lives in Pakistan and has been sentenced to death by hanging for the crime of “blasphemy”. That’s right; BLASPHEMY. And how does one commit such a heinous act in Pakistan? Asia Bibi drank some water that was only supposed to be for Muslims to drink. She is a Catholic/Christian and is therefore considered “unclean”. It followed that she defiled the drinking water. An argument between her and her Muslim co-workers ensued. So, since she was a Catholic, she was accused of blasphemy for insulting Muhammad. They beat her, tried her and sentenced her to death.  That was five years ago and she is still in prison waiting to be hanged. This sentence has been upheld by Pakistan’s Supreme Court. How civilized some of our ‘friends and allies” are.

 I cannot help but feel a deep affinity for these people. After all, we are all part of the same spiritual family. They are people just like you and I. They love their spouses and children and their moms and dads. They get the flu and upset stomachs. They get rashes and toothaches and they have wants and desires. They want a nice home that is safe and secure. They would like to have a church they can go to without a fear of being killed or maimed for doing so. They just want some peace in their lives. Yet they are hated and despised. Why–because they are just like me and maybe you. They are Catholic and believe in Jesus Christ.

 Yes, like us, they believe in the “golden rule”. Unlike us and  for believing this they are called “infidels”. They are defiled as “unclean”. For this they are killed. For this they are blown up by maniacs. For this Asia Bibi will be hanged by the neck until her twitching body stops moving. Where is the outcry? Where is the outrage from all of us here in America? Where are the reproaches by the National Organization for Women? Why does our government help a government that allows such medieval acts to be inflicted on its own people by its own people?  Why not demand the Pakistani government end these atrocities or we will remove their seemingly bottomless U.S. money pit?

As a Catholic man I know that these people are also our brothers and sisters in faith. We belong to the same church and Pope Francis is our spiritual leader. We are “extended” family. The only difference between them and us is location. We are greatly blessed and still have full stomachs from our Thanksgiving feast. They are in dreaded fear of any day being imprisoned and tortured and murdered. This morning, I was able to drive over to my church and attend morning Mass. No fuss, no muss, no anxiety existed. I am a free American man allowed to practice my religion (so far) unencumbered. Cross over an imaginary line called a boundary and things can change quickly.

Recently a 28 year old pregnant Christian woman, our sister in faith, was dragged from her home by her employer’s sons and his friends, stripped naked and forced to parade up and down the streets of Rana Town in Pakistan for a half hour. Her offense? The man did not think she was doing her work properly. She  lost the baby. Never doubt this fact, to be a Catholic/Christian in Pakistan and Sudan and Iran and other places takes tremendous faith and courage.

For me and you, blessed to be living in America, we have never been faced with the threat of torture, mutilation, hanging, beheading, or being starved because we believe in God differently than someone else. Yet, around the world, our brothers and sisters in faith live with this reality every minute of their lives. They must TRULY love their Savior, Jesus Christ. I do not know if I could be as brave and courageous if faced with the same everyday circumstance.

God bless them all. They make me SO proud and humbled to be part of their Christian family.

Meet Asia Bibi; A Catholic/Christian Mom Sentenced to Death for Being a "Blasphemer"

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

                                                               
by Larry Peterson
We are so blessed to be living in the Unites States of America. The freedoms we have enjoyed are beyond compare. Yet there are those Americans who will fight to have these very freedoms we enjoy stripped away to satisfy their own ideologies. How sad this is and what fools they are. Especially those who try to strip away religious freedom from those who disagree with them.

They call Christians  “intolerant” because Christianity stands against their preferred mantra of  hedonistic, secular “virtue”. I wish that some of these people would try to imagine what it is like for so many people who live in countries without these freedoms.  I wish they could get out of their own comfort zones, remove their shoes or sneakers, and try on the shoes worn by Asia Bibi.

When you slip into Asia’s shoes you realize that you are now a poor farm worker, the mother of five children and you worked in the fields harvesting berries. You are 44 years old and your husband is a brick laborer, a man who mixes the mortar and hauls it to the brick layer. You both work very hard and put in long hours to care for your children. You are also Roman Catholic. Your full name is Aasiya Noreen but you are better known as Asia Bibi. The country you live in is Pakistan.
You remember that hot, sunny day in June of 2009. You remember being out in the field working alongside the other women. They told you to go and fetch them water from the nearby well. (They are Muslim and you are a Christian. You are “beneath” their level and must do the menial tasks required). So you dutifully went to the well and pulled up the water. There was an old tin cup nearby and you picked it up, filled it with water and took a drink. You knew you were not allowed to drink from the same cup as the others lest you “defile” it and you made sure you did not. But by taking that simple sip of water the die had been cast.

Alas, using the dirty, rusted cup to drink from mattered not. A field hand angrily tells you that you are forbidden to drink the same water as a Muslim. You are already considered “unclean” because you are Christian. The other workers hurriedly gathered around you and started cursing you and your religion. Your faith must have been exploding in you because you defended it immediately. You summoned your resolve and remember saying, “I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ who died for the sins of mankind. What did your prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind.” WOW!

Later that day some of the workers reported to the local cleric that you had “insulted” Mohammed. A  mob came to your home, beat you and your family and you had to be rescued by the police. The police investigated your remarks and arrested you for the crime of “blasphemy”. Under the country’s Sharia Law you are not equal to a Muslim so what you had to say was only considered “half” as important as what they had to say.

Trying to defend yourself was an effort in futility. They hold you in a local jail for one year and then you are found guilty of Blasphemy. Your sentence is death by hanging. You are shocked and horrified and helpless. Your husband is sickened and your children lost inside themselves. You can do nothing. You are sent to prison and placed on death row.

It is now 2014. After a hearing that lasted a few hours, the Pakistani High Court upheld the verdict handed down in 2010. Your impending execution by hanging is affirmed. People and organizations around the world have been clamoring for your release. So far it is to no avail.

If you have had the guts to “try on Asia’a shoes” can you get a sense of what life might be like for Christians and others who have no religious freedom. Can you imagine what this Christian woman, the mother of five, must be feeling? She has been living in a dank, stinking hole for almost five years. The only visitor she can receive is her husband and a doctor. How disgusting and inhumane to do this to someone just because they have a different belief than you do. How reprehensible to vilify a wife and mom simply because she took a sip of water from an old tin cup. Is this what you want someday?

Asia Bibi is a human being just like all of us. She has family she loves. She has children she wants to hug and feed and nurture and tuck in at night and tend to their scrapes and runny noses. She is hard working, kind, and generous to her neighbors. She is not different than most other people. No different except for one thing. She is a Catholic in a Muslim world. Therefore, because of her “beliefs”, she is hated and despised.  In the highly “civilized” world of 2014 we are seeing more vicious and brutal murders of people who follow Christ than at any time in history.

Over 400,000 signatures have been collected on petitions asking for Asia’s release. Pope Benedict XVI called for the charges against her to be dismissed. These pleas have fallen on deaf ears. In fact, a Christian minorities minister, Shahbaz Bhatti and a Pakistani official, Salmann Taseer, were both murdered for defending Asia. Her family has gone into hiding because of all the death threats they have received. Finally, the word “on the street” is that if Asia is released she will be killed anyway.
Are you tired of walking in Asia’s shoes yet?

I will never understand Americans who “fight” to get rid of religious freedoms. If you do not like religion you do not have to participate in any of it. You are living in a country which accepts and promotes this kind of  freedom. The United States of America was NOT founded so people like you can destroy people who disagree with you. When you do that you are no different than those that want to hang Asia Bibi.  The only difference is you do not use a rope and a gallows as a weapon of choice. The weapon you use to destroy your fellow American “enemy” the U.S. Constitution. You have managed to turn it against itself to defile religious freedom. How clever you all are.

Many people around the world are praying for the safe release of Asia Bibi. Americans trying to destroy religious freedom in America might take pause and think of her also.  She has been imprisoned  for five years and is set to hang because she was a Catholic who took a drink of  “Muslim” water from an old ti
n cup. This could never happen in America. Or could it?





"Have We Christians Become the Victims of Hate Crimes?"

The Muslim world went berserk over a 13 minute video that most of them had never seen but had, from what they had heard, offended the prophet Muhammad. So, by the thousands, they created mayhem, civil disobedience, and anarchy in 20 countries around the world and fiendishly killed our Ambassador to Libya and three of his American associates. The administration said it was a “spontaneous uprising”. The embassy issued a statement apologizing for offending  Muhammad in the video.  Wait a minute—it all started on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Uh–oh–it was planned and Al_Queda was involved. So, after a week of  denials the administration admitted that it was, in fact, a terrorist attack. How about that. Time for a new approach.

So the President of the United States and his Secretary of State took $70,000.00 of taxpayer money and made a video apologizing to the Pakistani people for the video. The President said in the video, “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others”. Secretary Clinton called the video “despicable and reprehensible”. As far as Libya is concerned, an intense investigation is under way and those that committed the crimes against the US will be brought to justice. I’ll bet those marauding Muslims are shaking in their sandals. To the point—

Taxpayer money has been used to make those apology ads to the Muslim world. What about the Christian world. I am one of those that total one third of the world’s population (like 2.3 billion) and over a billion of us are Catholic Christians. How come we can be  mocked and defiled and laughed at whenever someone feels like it?  How come our guy, JESUS CHRIST, who we BELIEVE  is the Messiah and the Son of God, can have His name publicly reviled and His very existence lampooned by the “intellegentsia” of the world? Is it because we are the peace loving folks, the ones who forgive others and therefore we are no threat to anyone? We are not about to blow you up or slit your throats? Is that it?

So what do we Christians get on the heels of the Great Muslim Apology by the President and the Secretary of State. We get “PISS CHRIST”. That’s what we get. This 1987 “work of art” by the”renowned” artist, Andres Serrano, famous for using urine and feces in his “art”, is what we Christians get. Something that was once branded as a “deplorable, despicable (where did we just hear that word) display of vulgarity” and was funded by the National Endowment of the Arts, is what we Christians get. On September 27 an exhibit of “Piss Christ”, which is a crucifix with the body of Christ on it immersed in Serrano’s urine, goes on display at the Edward Tyler Neham Gallery on upscale W 57th Street in Manhattan. Where is our apology video? You don’t think I am deeply offended by this attack on my deepest beliefs,  beliefs that for me and many are the core of our existence. Where is our apology video?

It seems to me that if taxpayer dollars can be used to apologize to those who hate us and want to kill us, and if taxpayer money can be used to fund so called “art” that is repugnant to so many (remember the statue of the Virgin Mary covered with feces at the museum in Brooklyn) then we Christians should get an apology from our government for taking our money and using it to fund programs and people that vilify us. Slowly but surely we Christians are the ones who have become the “victims of hate crimes”.

One final thought. Since the United States of America was, in fact, attacked again on 9/11 and on our own soil, I thought that maybe at every football game across America that maybe a moment of silence would have been held in honor of those Americans killed on the new 9/11. Not a PEEP—anywhere or from anyone.