ISLAMABAD – A Pakistani judge granted bail Friday to a young, mentally challenged Christian girl accused of insulting Islam by burning pages of the religion’s holy book.

Activists who had pressed for the girl’s release welcomed the rare decision to grant bail in a blasphemy case. But defense lawyers expressed concern for her safety in a conservative country where blasphemy allegations often result in vigilante justice.

The girl, who medical officials say is 14 years old, was arrested Aug. 16 after an angry mob surrounded her house in the capital, Islamabad, and accused her of burning pages from the Quran, an act punishable by life in prison. Her attorney has denied the allegation.