Karachi, Pakistan (Anawim Today) – Last week, a 13-year-old Christian
girl was abducted outside of her home in Karachi, Pakistan. Two days later, the
girl’s parents were informed she had become the latest victim of forced
conversion and forced marriage, Anawim Today has learnt.
According to International Christian Concern (www.persecution.org) also known as ICC news story On October 13, Arzoo Masih was abducted by Ali Azhar, a local Muslim man, while she was playing outside of her home in Karachi’s St. Anthony’s Parish.
ICC said Arzoo’s parents immediately filed a kidnapping complaint with local police.
Two days later, on October 15, police summoned Arzoo’s parents to the station where they presented the couple with marriage and conversion documents, said the story adding these documents claimed Arzoo was 18 and that she had converted to Islam and married Azhar willingly.
ICC said Shabbir Shafqat, President of the National Christian Party, condemned the abduction, forced conversion, and forced marriage of Arzoo while talking to Speaking to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN).
“Forced conversion has become a major tool for the persecution of Christians and other minorities in Pakistan,” Shafqat told UCAN. “We must make a united stand against Arzoo’s abduction.”
ICC said according to to a study by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan, an estimated 1,000 Christian and Hindu women are abducted, forcefully married, and forcefully converted to Islam every year.
Many of the victims are minors. Sexual assaults and fraudulent marriages are used by perpetrators to entrap victims and authorities are complicit, said ICC report.
“The issue of religion is also often injected into cases of sexual assault to place victims from religious minority communities at a disadvantage.”, said ICC.
“ Playing upon religious biases, perpetrators know they can cover up and justify their crimes by introducing an element of religion.”
Photo credit - UCAN