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Top Pakistan court to decide on acquittal of Christian woman

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Top Pakistan court to decide on acquittal of Christian woman

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s top court is to decide Tuesday whether to uphold its acquittal of a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy — a move that would finally set her free and allow her to join her daughters, who have fled to Canada where they have been given asylum.

For Aasia Bibi, who spent eight years on death row and who has been under guard at a secret place since her acquittal last October, the court’s decision could represent the final legal hurdle to her freedom.

Her lawyer, Saiful Malook, says he expects the judges to reject a petition by radical Islamists for a review of their Oct. 31 move to acquit Bibi.

Following her acquittal, radical religious parties took to the streets to protest, calling for the killing of judges who acquitted Bibi and for the overthrow of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government. They also filed a last-minute appeal for a review of the Supreme Court acquittal. The protests were spearheaded by the radical Tehreek-e-Labbaik party, whose single point agenda is protection of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

Bibi’s case goes to the core of one of Pakistan’s most controversial issues — the blasphemy law, often used to settle scores or intimidate followers of minority religions, including minority Shiite Muslims. A charge of insulting Islam can bring the death penalty.

But the accusation on its own is sometimes enough to whip up vengeful mobs, even if the courts acquit defendants. A provincial governor who defended Bibi was shot and killed, as was a government minority minister who dared question the blasphemy law.

Bibi, who always insisted that she was innocent, has said she will leave the country as soon as her legal battles are over. Her lawyer, who fled the country after receiving death threats, returned to Pakistan for the final review.

Bibi’s ordeal began on a hot day in 2009 when she brought water to fellow farmhands who refused to drink from the same container as a Christian woman. Two of her fellow farmworkers argued with Bibi and later accused her of insulting Islam’s prophet Mohammad. Bibi has steadfastly denied the charge.

Since her acquittal Bibi has spent her days in seclusion for fear of being targeted by angry mobs clamoring for her death. In her hideout, protected by Pakistani security, she has longed for her children, speaking almost daily to her daughters in Canada, according to a friend who was interviewed by The Associated Press. He asked not to be identified fearing reprisal from radical religious groups.

Following protests that accompanied her acquittal, the authorities arrested radical clerics Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Mohammad Afzal Qadri, both leaders of the Tehreekk-e-Labbaik Party, and several of their followers for destroying public property during rallies against Bibi and for inciting their followers to violence. The clerics and the others remain in custody.

The cleric petitioning the court for Bibi’s return to death row, Qari Salam, is linked with Rizvi’s Tehreek-e-Labbaik party.

Rizvi’s party said Monday it will not accept any decision in favor of Bibi’s release and asked its followers to prepare for more mass protests.

Pakistani police have stepped up security around the Supreme Court in Islamabad ahead of its decision Tuesday.

 


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Culture and Religion

Acts 17:11 – ‘searched the scriptures daily’

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Acts 17:11 searched the scriptures daily

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. – Acts 17:11 (KJV)

We’ve talked before about doing daily Bible study, then we made sure to expand on what we were promoting by reminding people that Christianity itself should not be a task. Now, we’ll go to the source (as we should have done from the beginning) and point to scriptural backing that we are not only supposed to read the Bible, but to search it and use at as the ultimate reference.

This verse is often quoted out of contest. It points to the Bereans as true students of the Word. There are even ministries today who herald to the Bereans and continue in the works that were alluded to in this chapter. The reality is this: the Bereans were Jews who studied fervently and as a result they were easily converted to belief in Yeshua as the Messiah.

If there’s any one takeaway from this (other than the call to continuously study and find truth in the Bible by applying the teachings of the Bible itself), it’s that those who are the most steadfast in their studies, whether it’s of the Bible or of this world, are the ones who are easiest to bring to the truth. Christianity and all religions have gained an unfortunate label of being only for the “weak of mind” or gullible people. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not necessarily about intelligence. It’s about discernment. Those who see the world through the lens of common sense and an unbiased intellect are the most likely to come to the faith. They simply need a little Biblical worldview prompting.

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Matthew 22:37 – ‘love the Lord thy God’

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Matthew 2237 love the Lord thy God

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. – Matthew 22:37 (KJV)

We’ve all heard this verse, but have we really contemplated it? This is a verse that sits in the middle of many different things happening. The Pharisees and Sadducees were questioning Him. His answers were profound and defining.

This important portion of this message is echoed three times: all. Love thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind. This is the most important Commandment according to Yeshua.

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Culture and Religion

Scouts BSA: Proof that moral leadership matters in life

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Scouts BSA Proof that moral leadership matters in life

In the Age of Trump, where the Fellowship of the Pharisees and their so-called evangelical followers have given “God’s chosen president” a “mulligan” for his sexually immoral past in exchange for a seat at his table, the damage being done to the Gospel of Christ is obvious.

Another consequence of this kind of hypocrisy has been the destruction of moral leadership in nearly every area of American life. For example, let’s take a look at Scouts BSA, formerly known as the Boy Scouts of America.

In a report by NBC New York yesterday, we learned that nearly 8,000 adults are suspected of sexually abusing more than 12,000 children in the Boy Scouts over the years, and that these incidents have been kept secret according to victim’s rights attorney Jeff Anderson.

“For many, many years there’s been an excavation of what are called the ‘perversion files’—those are files held and hoarded at the Boy Scouts of America headquarters.

“Those ‘perversion files’ that they’ve had reflect that they have removed thousands of offenders of childhood sexual abuse over the years and they’ve kept that in files secretly.”

While the abuse appears to have been going on since the 1940s, recent decisions by the Boy Scouts created an environment that essentially guaranteed it would happen with greater frequency, thanks to the institution of LGBT-friendly changes to their leadership requirements.

In the summer of 2015, then-president of the Boy Scouts and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates abandoned the organization’s commitment to develop moral character by lifting the ban on homosexuals serving as leaders due to fears of possible lawsuits.

The lawsuit excuse was a lie as the Supreme Court had already upheld the BSA’s right to exclude homosexuals. In reality, Gates, the guy responsible for ending the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, simply wanted to open scouting to the LGBT community, regardless of any consequences. Moral considerations be damned.

Here’s an irony for you. Scouts BSA announced a few months ago it may go bankrupt due to the lawsuits over sexual abuse and declining membership. I guess Gates missed that one.

By the way, Scouts BSA also made a policy change in February 2017 to recognize children by their “gender identity,” and the reason Boy Scouts of America changed the name to Scouts BSA is because it’s now open to girls. How long will it be before we hear about a “straight” leader sexually molesting these new additions to the Boy Scouts?

In the end, however, it’s not an LGBT or straight issue; it’s a moral leadership issue. Unfortunately, morality no longer exists in the Boy Scouts because their first duty to God no longer exists, due in no small part to the rise of the lukewarm church and cheap grace theology.

Moral leadership matters in life; and in politics as well. But we’ll never see it again in America unless something changes in the heart of the church.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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