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
    • Remembering that the infant Lord Jesus Himself fled from threats of violence with His parents, pray for the Pakistanis from various persecuted minorities who had sought asylum in Sri Lanka but are now being deported back to Christmas concert at a school in Bethlehem that Barnabas Fund supports Pakistan. This is happening despite protests by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Those being deported include Christians, Ahmadiyyas and Shia Muslims, all of whom are vulnerable to persecution in Pakistan. For example, any Christian who has been accused under the “blasphemy law” is at extreme risk of being murdered even if they have been cleared of the charges. Pray for their protection. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 11 hours ago

    • As we remember the coming into the world of our Emmanuel (God with us), pray that His presence will be very real to Christians who suffer today for His Name, to those enduring hardship and abuse in prison, those who will go hungry today because of discrimination and injustice, those who face taunts and hostility daily at work or school, and those who are subject to pressure to convert to another religion. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Dec 2014 00:00

    • In an initiative that discriminates against Christian staff and pupils, the Indian government has announced a plan to celebrate “good governance day” on 25 December, introducing an essay competition with a financial award as an incentive for turnout. As part of this initiative, schools will also remain open on 24 and 25 December. Please pray that the government will consider the impact of this initiative on Christians and change the proposed date. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Dec 2014 00:00

    • The Maleme ostrich farm which provides employment and skills training for local Zimbabweans through the Ebenezer programme is under threat. The authorities are in the process of seizing the land, ordering its Christian owners to abandon everything. The farm also generates enough income to sustain the Shalom facilities, a much-used campsite for Christian organisations and churches that has been running since 1958. Both Ebenezer and Shalom would have to be closed down if the land is occupied. Pray for wisdom for the leaders of Ebenezer and Shalom as they seek to show grace to the authorities in the midst of these heart-breaking negotiations. Pray that God’s justice will prevail and that the land will be kept for His purposes. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Dec 2014 00:00

    • It is reported that Hindu radicals have planned an event to convert 4,000 Christian and 1,000 Muslim families to Hinduism on Christmas Day. Pray for Christians in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India who are facing increasing pressure and violence since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party gained political power on 26 May. Pray that God will grant strength to His people so that they will remain faithful. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Dec 2014 00:00

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