Mike Huckabee has issued a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, urging him to offer Christian mother Asia Bibi and her family asylum in America.
Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and Southern Baptist pastor, said in an op-ed for Fox News on Sunday that it has been one month since Bibi was acquitted by the Pakistani Supreme Court after spending eight years on death row for blasphemy.
Her release from prison sparked widespread protests in Pakistan, with Islamic hardliners demanding that she be put to death for insulting their faith, something which Bibi has denied ever doing.
“Thankfully, Bibi is being kept in protective custody by the Pakistani government. However, the government has said that they will not stand in the way of Islamic hardliners who are seeking a review of her case,” Huckabee wrote.
“President Trump and his administration have been stalwart and vocal champions for religious freedom across the globe. And in Asia Bibi’s case, urgent action is needed RIGHT NOW,” he added.
Huckabee pointed readers to My Faith Votes, the organization seeking to encourage people to vote based on their convictions, and urged them to send a letter to Trump.
“While the Netherlands, Britain, and Canada have all been mentioned as possible destinations for the family, the United States has been conspicuous by its absence in these reports,” reads the email in part.
“The United States is without question the safest place of refuge for Asia Bibi and her family. We have a 230-plus year commitment to religious freedom and tolerance. That the United States isn’t being mentioned as her ultimate destination is a betrayal of those principles and an abdication of our responsibilities.”
The My Faith Votes website also allows the email to be sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, along with people’s representatives in Congress.
Huckabee urged Christians to “speak up,” adding:
“No person of any faith should ever fear for their life because of sincerely held beliefs. This principle has been cherished throughout America’s history, but we must remain steadfast to fight for this freedom here at home and around the world or else it will vanish.”
Bruce Allen of Forgotten Missionaries International told Mission Network News on Tuesday that there is much speculation over where in Pakistan Bibi is now.
“There was some speculation that she may have immediately left the country after being released from prison. But from what even other countries have said, they have not issued any visas to her,” Allen said.
“We’ve been told that Asia Bibi is in a secure location like a safehouse sort of scenario, but many people inside Pakistan are speculating she is already at a foreign embassy — perhaps the Dutch Embassy … but of course, there is no confirmation of that,” he added.
“The Dutch Embassy wouldn’t confirm that even if it were true, and many of their staff have been recalled back to the Netherlands as they have reduced the activities that are being offered or the services being offered.”
Allen further warned that although there is much international attention on the family, visas for asylum are “very difficult to obtain and it can take years for that to happen.”