Pope Benedict XVI called Wednesday for the release of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.
He also spoke out about the "difficult situation of Christians in Pakistan," who suffer "discrimination and violence," at the end of his weekly general audience Wednesday.
Bibi was sentenced to death for insulting the Muslim prophet Mohammed and for calling the Quran "fake" - a capital crime in Pakistan. She has filed an appeal and asked for bail, the chief prosecutor of Punjab province told CNN. The prosecutor, Chaudhry Muhammad Jahangir, said the appeal will be heard by the Lahore High court and a decision could be months away.
Pakistan has never executed someone convicted of blasphemy, he said, but he refused to predict the outcome of Bibi's appeal.