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Pakistan’s Major Problem with Kidnappings and Forced Conversions to Islam

It is a sadly recurring phenomenon, and not just in Pakistan: “To compound the matter, the majority of victims claim that Pakistan’s police force is often unhelpful and regularly sides with the kidnappers because of their shared religious identity.” Pakistan’s small Orthodox Christian community is as vulnerable to this persecution as are all the rest of Pakistan’s Christians. The ongoing mistreatment of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan is an ongoing issue of immense importance that receives scant attention from the UN or international human rights organizations. Please pray that this will change, and that relief will come to this courageous and long-suffering Christian community.

“Pakistan’s Major Problem with Kidnappings and Forced Conversions to Islam,” International Christian Concern, March 28, 2019:

03/28/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Religious minority communities across Pakistan have expressed grave concern following reports of increased incidents of kidnappings and forced conversions to Islam. Just last week, a Hindu teenage girl from Pakistan’s Sindh province became the latest victim of this cruel practice….

Across Pakistan, women and girls from religious minority communities are targeted by extremists for abduction and forced conversion. According to the Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan, an estimated 1,000 girls and women, ranging in age between 12 and 25, are victimized by their cruel practice every year. Pakistan’s Hindu and Christian communities are most effected.

Last month, on February 25, Saima Iqbal, a Christian woman, was kidnapped and forcefully converted to Islam on the outskirts of Islamabad. After several failed attempts to recover his wife, Saima’s husband, Naveed Iqbal, appealed to Pakistan’s prime minister in a Facebook video that went viral. Thanks to the wide coverage of Saima’s case, she was recovered from her kidnappers and returned to her husband and children.

Forced conversions to Islam remains one of the cruelest abuses suffered by Pakistan’s minority communities. Practitioners of this abuse often use rape and forced marriage as a means to cover up their crime. To compound the matter, the majority of victims claim that Pakistan’s police force is often unhelpful and regularly sides with the kidnappers because of their shared religious identity.

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