Aid to Church in Need, a Catholic charity, is asking Britain’s prime minister to grant asylum to a 14-year-old Christian girl who was abducted and forcibly married to a Muslim man.
According to The Christian Post, teenager Maira Shahbaz was abducted at gunpoint in April by Mohamad Nakash and two others while she was walking home in the Madina town are in Punjab’s Province’s Faisalabad District.
Maira said she was taken to a basement, drugged and raped.
“When I came to my senses I started shouting and requested them to release me and let me go to my home,” her statement to the police read, according to the British newspaper.
“During that period, Nakash’s mother entered the basement and told me ‘you cannot go anywhere from here, and you have to do what we will order you.'”
She said she was later made to marry Nakash and covert to Islam.
In August, Maira fled the home of Nakash, but she was ordered to return to him. Nakash was later accused to using a false marriage certificate that listed Maira as 19 and said they had wed in October 2019.
The certificate also did not provide proof of consent from Nakash’s first wife. The Muslim cleric who is listed on the certificate also said he was not involved in the “marriage” to the teenager.
The Catholic charity Aid to Church in Need is asking Christians to sign an online petition that will be sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“Regardless of what the court eventually decides, Maira’s life will forever be in danger,” the charity said. “There is the threat of honour killing. Extremists in Pakistan consider her an apostate and will kill her at the first chance. Her lawyer said men have been looking for her, knocking on doors and asking for her whereabouts.”
A 2014 study found that about 1,000 women and girls from Pakistan’s Hindu and Christian community are abducted, forcibly married and forcibly made to convert to Islam every year.
Christian Girl, 13, Forcibly Married, Converted in Pakistan, Father Says
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Anthony Devlin/Stringer
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.