Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Estimated 700 Christian girls annually k...

Email:

Estimated 700 Christian girls annually kidnapped and forcibly married to captors in Pakistan

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Estimated 700 Christian girls annually kidnapped and forcibly married to captors in Pakistan

Country/Region: South and East Asia, Pakistan

 Watch a video interview with our partners from CLAAS.
CLAAS-interview-4x3.jpg
Watch video interview with Joseph Francis and Katherine Sapna of CLAAS

The abduction and forced conversion to Islam of Christian girls who are then married against their will to their captors is a disturbing and growing trend in Pakistan; it is estimated that there are over 700 cases every year.

One of the latest incidents involved a 14-year-old girl, Mehek Rashid, who was kidnapped at gunpoint from her home in Shisharwali, Gujranwala, by a gang of five armed Muslim men. One of her abductors yelled that he would purify Mehek by converting her to Islam before marrying her. The local authorities are refusing to investigate the case, apparently because the assailants are from a prominent Muslim family.

It is sadly an all too familiar story in Pakistan, where a senior church leader has warned that the “the cases of forced conversion are rising at an alarming rate”.

In another recent case, a young Christian woman, Mariam Gill, was abducted on her way home from the market in Kahota by a Muslim businessman who had previously asked her to marry him and been refused. She was forcibly converted and married to her kidnapper. His actions were praised by the Muslim leader who conducted the ceremonies as “a pious act”.

The authorities initially refused to intervene; a local police officer said Mariam acted of “her own free will”. But after she was questioned by officials and told them that she had been abducted and forced to convert, they returned Mariam to her family. The young woman’s ordeal is not over, however; her kidnapper threatened “terrible consequences” if he did not get her back.   

Violence and rape

The forced conversions and marriages are often carried out by influential Muslim families who threaten and severely beat the young girls to frighten them into compliance, as seemingly happened in the case of Farah Hatim. The authorities rarely take action, and often the young girls never return to their families unless they manage to escape their captors. The girls are often raped and become pregnant, making it almost impossible for the courts to release them.

One father was told by police to “forget his daughters” after the two Christian sisters were abducted, raped and forcibly converted in Faisalabad in May.

Even when a captive does manage to escape, it is by no means the end of her suffering. If a woman leaves her new Muslim family and Islam to return to her Christian background, she is considered an apostate – even though she was forcibly converted – and is therefore liable to be killed.

Alfred Arifa, a 27-year-old Christian woman, is on the run with her family from the man who abducted her. She was drugged and kidnapped in May 2009; when Arifa revived, she was told that she had converted to Islam and married her captor. For over two years, she was locked in a house, constantly drugged and severely beaten, but she managed to escape last month. Her “husband” has threatened to kill her along with her entire family if she does not return to him.

Help for victims

Barnabas Fund supports a Pakistani Christian legal organisation, CLAAS, that helps women who are victims of kidnap, rape, forced conversion and marriage. Lawyers fight for cases to be taken up by the authorities and pursue justice for women in the courts. They also help the women to rebuild their lives; CLAAS has a rehabilitation centre, where women who have escaped from forced marriages can recover from their ordeal. Here, they are given opportunities to study, learn useful life skills and live normal lives as part of a loving Christian community.

 Watch a video interview with our partners from CLAAS.

Give Today

If you would like to help, please send your donation to project 41-645 (Pakistan – Christian lawyers helping abused Christians). Please click to donate online using our secure server.

If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference41-645 (Pakistan – Christian lawyers helping abused Christians).

If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference41-645 (Pakistan – Christian lawyers helping abused Christians).

For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/645 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Estimated 700 Christian girls annually kidnapped and forcibly married to captors in Pakistan

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • “He was always a light for Christ and he had a love and commitment that he expressed for the Afghan people because of that love for Christ.” The widow of Dr Jerry Umanos, an American doctor who was shot dead at the Christian-run hospital where he worked in Kabul, Afghanistan, spoke of her husband’s faith and ministry. Two visiting American Christians, father and son Gary and John Gabel, were also killed on 24 April when an Afghan security guard opened fire on the staff he was meant to be protecting. Pray for comfort for the grieving families of the three men, and ask the Lord to safeguard the future of the hospital, which provides much-needed medical care and also trains Afghan doctors and nurses. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 20 hours ago

    • “We ask all Christians and members of other faiths to reconsider their own beliefs and join Hinduism.” Krishna Hari Baskota, secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister in Nepal, was speaking about the application process for a new identity card that will show citizens’ religious affiliation. Christians and members of other minorities will be subjected to greater scrutiny before obtaining the official documents and will be asked to reiterate their faith. One Christian rights activist said that the government is trying to discourage people from converting from Hinduism. Pray that the Nepalese authorities will not discriminate against Christians but will treat them on equal terms with the Hindu majority. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Lift up to the Lord a group of Christians in Pali village, Jharkhand state, India, who were attacked by Hindu extremists on two consecutive days in an effort to force them to convert to Hinduism. On 4 March, the offenders stormed into the home of Pastor Tilas Bedia, beat the Christians present and threatened to kill them if they continued to follow Christ. The following morning, a mob dragged 15 Christians from their homes, told them to convert back to Hinduism and beat them. The pastor and two others were paraded half-naked to the outskirts of the village. Adding insult to injury, a case of forcible conversion was subsequently registered against the pastor and three other Christians. Pray that the Lord will give them all the strength to stand firm in the face of such opposition. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Christians in the village of Gudrikia, Kandhamal district, who lost their church building in the 2008 anti-Christian riots in Orissa state, India. Earlier this year, they planned to rebuild the church, and on 11 March, they took the stones they had bought to the site to start the work. But they were blocked by a group of Hindu fundamentalists, who threatened them. The previous church building had been burnt down, and the land where it once stood is now used by Hindus for farming. The latest incident highlights the ongoing hostility towards Christians in the area. Pray that the Lord will soften the hearts of Hindu extremists in India, and that they will allow Christians to practise their faith in freedom and peace. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Christians and other non-Hindus in India following the landslide victory of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the country’s general election. The BJP is the political wing of a Hindu nationalist movement, Hindutva, which is striving to make India a religiously pure nation. The party has given support to Hindu extremist groups that attack Christians, and states where it holds power have generally experienced a rise in anti- Christian violence. The party was in charge of Orissa state during the horrendous anti-Christian riots of 2007-08. It has also pledged to introduce national legislation to curb “missionary” activity and end “proselytising”; this may be used to restrict legitimate Christian evangelism. Pray that the new government will give equal rights to all India’s citizens and provide effective protection for Christians, Muslims and others from Hindu extremism. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Jul 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks