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Pakistan: Another Christian Girl Allegedly Forced to Convert/Marry

As we have documented many times here at ChristianPersecution.com, the kidnapping and forced conversion of young Christian and other girls from religious minority groups in Pakistan is all too common. Authorities for the most part turn a blind eye.

Pakistan’s small and courageous Orthodox Christian community is as vulnerable to this persecution as are the rest of Pakistan’s Christians. 

For previous coverage of forced conversions and the persecution of Christians in Pakistan in general, see here.

“Another Christian Girl Allegedly Forced to Convert/Marry,” Morning Star News, January 14, 2022:

LAHORE, Pakistan (Morning Star News) – The abduction and forced conversion of Christian girls in Pakistan continued with impunity as another minor was separated from her parents the first week of the year, sources said.

Mahnoor Ashraf, a 14-year-old Pentecostal Christian, went missing shortly after leaving her home in Lahore’s Cantonment area for a nearby shop the morning of Jan. 4, relatives said.

Her father, Ashraf Masih Chaudhry, told police that their Muslim neighbor, 45-year-old Muhammad Ali Khan Ghauri, abducted her with help of his friends. Mahnoor, the youngest of four children, was accompanied by her 8-year-old nephew when she was abducted, Chaudhry told police.

Mahnoor’s older brother, Akram Masih Chaudhry, said that the family began searching for her immediately after the nephew informed them of her abduction. Upon learning that Ghauri, who is married with two children, had taken Mahnoor, they went to his house but he wasn’t there, Akram said.

“Ghauri’s house is on the same street, and our families had good terms with each other,” Akram said. “We don’t know when he managed to lure Mahnoor into a relationship.”

He said Ghauri has been missing from his house since that day.

The family registered a First Information Report (FIR No. 58/22) with the South Cantt police on Jan. 5, but the investigating officer was slow to act on their case, Akram said.

“Finally, on Jan. 7, Ghauri’s family informed us that Mahnoor had allegedly converted to Islam and married Ghauri on Jan. 4, the day she was taken,” he said.

Mahnoor’s father has filed charges with police against all suspects involved in abducting, forcibly converting and illegally marrying the minor with her abductor, Akram said. Ghauri abducted Mahnoor with help from friends Muhammad Waqas, Raza Ali and Muhammad Imran, and local cleric Muhammad Ibrar performed the Islamic marriage despite knowing that she was a minor, Akram said.

He noted that the Islamic marriage certificate states Mahnoor’s age as 19, though her birth certificate shows she was born on Aug. 19, 2007.

Police have yet to recover Mahnoor, Akram said, adding that they fear for his mother’s health due to her state of shock and grief.

“The police are not doing anything to find Mahnoor,” he said….

The U.S. State Department on Nov. 15 re-designated Pakistan as a Country of Particular Concern, a term used for states that commit or condone religious rights violations under the U.S. International Religious Freedom Act. Previously Pakistan had been added to the list on Nov. 28, 2018.

Pakistan ranked fifth on Christian support organization Open Doors 2021 World Watch list of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

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