Pak: Teenage Christian boy murdered by Muslim gang, another Christian woman abducted and forcibly married to Muslim

May 3, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Qaisar MasihPakistan, April 28, 2016: Pakistan is again the scene of more violent attacks against Christians. In Pir Mahel, an administrative sub-division of Toba Tek Singh District in the Punjab province, Christian teenager Qaisar Masih was murdered by a gang of Muslims following an argument, while elsewhere in the same province yet another young Christian woman has been abducted by Muslims for forced conversion and marriage.

Eighteen-year-old Qaisar Masih was attacked by the gang after he took issue with the attitude of one of them. Despite Qaisar offering an apology, the men, incensed that the teenager dared to argue with them, strangled him to death and dragged his body through the streets, before then hanging him on a tree. The gang have said that other Christians who dare to confront them will meet a similar fate.

In another incidents of anti-Christian violence in Pakistan, two men broke into the house of a 23-year-old Christian woman and her family in a village near Pattoki city, Kasur District, in the Punjab province on Thursday 14 April whilst they were sleeping, and forcibly abducted her. The parents of the young woman have since discovered that she has forcibly been converted and married to one of her abductors.

The girl’s father attempted to register the incident with the police but was met with reluctance based on his daughter accepting Islam and now being married to a Muslim man.

This is symptomatic of a bigger problem in Pakistan. The police, being Muslims and under pressure from the local community, tend to accept marriage certificates as proof of a legitimate marriage and conversion, and often trust witnesses who attest to the woman’s conversion. Whilst the authorities may well appease Christians by giving the impression they are doing all they can to fight their cause, in reality little often seems to be done.

With this particular case, however, a local Christian lawyer has since got involved to provide legal assistance. The incident has now been registered with the police and legal proceedings have begun against the perpetrators. This rarely happens so it presents a significant breakthrough, with more now likely to be done to bring the two men to justice.

A local resident has revealed that in April alone, at least five Christian girls have been abducted from the same village and forcibly converted to Islam through marriage. According to a report by the Asian Human Rights Commission in 2012, in Pakistan an estimated 1,000 non-Muslim girls (700 Christian and 300 Hindu) are raped, kidnapped and forcibly married to Muslim men each year.

Although these practices are illegal, according to both sharia and the country’s national law, the authorities generally turn a blind eye to them and do little or nothing to intervene.

– barnabas

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