Last month I reported on Maria Shahbaz, a 14-year-old Christian girl in Pakistan who was abducted and forced to “marry” a Muslim man.
Shahbaz was abducted at gunpoint while she was walking home on April 28th by Mohamad Nakash and two others. To justify his custody of Shahbaz, Nakash claimed that he and Shahbaz were married and that she had converted to Islam. Legal age for marriage in Pakistan is 18, not 14. In court he produced a phony marriage license.
Not even the girl’s birth certificate and school records deterred the judge, who handed over the 14-year-old Christian girl to a forced Muslim marriage.
This is not an isolated case!
Huma Younus is another Christian Pakistani girl who was kidnapped, forcefully converted to Islam and then made to marry her abductor this year.
Huma was 14 years old when she was abducted at gunpoint in October of 2019 by Abdul Jabbar. In the days that followed, Huma’s parents, Younis and Nagheena Masih, started receiving messages via WhatsApp from Abdul’s brother, with documents showing that Huma had married Abdul and converted to Islam. However, further investigation of these documents clearly showed them false.
The documents showed a falsified date of birth for Huma, meant to justify the marriage by falsely claiming that Huma was 18 years old. The Sindh, Pakistan Child Marriage Restraint Act of 2019 prohibits the marriage of any girl under the age of 18.
Huma’s parents continue to receive death threats to pressure them to stop pursuing legal action against the kidnapper.
Our letter: I was one of dozens of signers of a letter of grievance to Chief Minister of Sindh asking that he order the law to be upheld and the girl released from this illegal forced marriage and returned to her parents.
Other signers of the letter included International Christian Concern, the Anglican Persecuted Church Network and Christian Freedom International.
Shortly after sending this letter to the Chief Minister of the province of Sindh we learned of yet another kidnapping. The new case is a 15-year-old Christian girl, Saneha Kinza Iqbal, who was kidnapped by a 30-year-old Muslim, Saeed Amanat, who is married with four children.
Saneha is the youngest of five children of 55-year-old Protestant pastor Morris Masih.
A growing number of virgin Christian girls are being kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam and enter forced marriages. Christians do not receive equal justice in Pakistan.
I sign several joint letters of complaint to Pakistan officials and American State Department officials each year on the injustice done to Christians in Pakistan.
William J. Murray, President