If the name of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian acquitted of blasphemy charges after nine years on death row, has gone around the world, there are dozens of cases like hers who live a daily ordeal, between prison and delays. judicial.
According to data provided by the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Pakistani Bishops' Conference, today there are 220 Christians who are in the same situation as Asia Bibi was in before she was acquitted.
A death sentence weighs on them.
"The Asia Bibi case is important, it can really be a turning point, but we must continue to legally support the many Christians who are in that same situation", underlines the Bishops' Commission.
And now the judges' rulings are slow "because they are afraid, afraid of making a mistake - says director Cecil Chaudhry - but also afraid of being attacked by fundamentalists".
The rulings in favor of the Christian woman have in fact triggered massive protests by the most radical wing of Muslims.
The blasphemy law makes any insult against the Islamic religion a crime but is often used as a pretext.
Father Emmanuel Yousaf, president of the Commission, gives as an example the 2013 attack on St. John Colony, one of the Christian neighborhoods of Lahore, when 296 homes were set on fire, in retaliation for an alleged act of blasphemy: "The reality was who wanted to appropriate the land, considering the neighborhood's proximity to the steel factories ".
The Justice and Peace Commission is also involved in supporting those people who convert from the Islamic religion to Christianity.
The law does not prohibit it but then leaves people at the mercy of their families of origin.
This is the case of Angela (not her real name) who embraced her husband's religion and left Islam.
Now she is constantly threatened by her brother.
"Anyone here can kill a person who has converted, my house has been a prison for years from which I cannot leave freely, we have no friends. I have no doubts about what I have done, about my faith in Christ, but now I am looking for a safety for my children, "he says, hoping to get a visa to rebuild a life abroad.
The testimony in Pakistan was recently collected by the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need, which supports various projects for the country's Catholics, providing aid for 4 million euros.
"We went to Pakistan to show solidarity - underlines the director of Acs-Italia, Alessandro Monteduro - to a Christian community that especially recently has suffered a series of attacks that we are not afraid to call anti-Christian. We went to make them feel our closeness. . We do this daily with our projects, projects that have helped the Christian communities in different ways, including with legal assistance and medical assistance. But there are times when we need to shake hands and embrace those who, only for their faith, is forced to undergo unacceptable forms of oppression ".