A 15-year old Christian girl from a poor family was reportedly kidnapped at gunpoint by five Muslim men in Pakistan before they raped her.
According to UCANews.com, the teenager – identified as Maria – was taken from her home in Sheikhupura city of Punjab province on June 9, while her father – Jalal Masih – was at work.
In a first information report filed with police several days after the incident, Maria’s father noted that neighbors saw, whom he believed to a local businessman named Muhammad Sajid along with four other men, take his daughter.
In the report, he said, “The locals saw them abducting her at gunpoint in a vehicle. I reached his [Sajid’s] office but he was absent.”
Masih said he eventually got into contact with Sajid the next day, but he “threatened to return her dead body if we informed the police.”
The next day, Masih said that “Sajid escaped after leaving Maria on our doorstep.”
He added, “She was extremely scared.”
Sadly, Maria’s case is only one of many. According to Legal Evangelical Association Development, between November 2018 and June 2019, 28 Christian girls have been kidnapped, tortured, sexually assaulted or raped, forcibly converted and forced to marry Muslim men in the region, CBN News reports.
According to Religion News Service, thousands of Christian and Hindu girls are kidnapped each year and forced to convert and marry Muslim men in Pakistan. According to an annual report from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, “Around 1,000 cases of Hindu and Christian girls being forced to convert were estimated in the province of southern Sindh alone in 2018,” RNS reports.
The Human Rights Commission also notes that there are no laws against forced conversion in Pakistan and “the government has done little in the past to stop such forced marriages.”
Hindus and Christians are religious minorities in Pakistan with 96 percent of the country subscribing to Islam.
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