World News

The ordeal of young Christian girls being kidnapped continues in Pakistan


Following the abduction of Samreen Aftab, a ninth-grade student at a school in Jaranwala where her father is employed as the principal, authorities falsely accused her family of kidnapping the young Christian girl.

Samreen is another victim of a silent defilement of kidnappings, coerced marriages and forced conversion of Christian girls and women in Pakistan. These ‘marriages’ mean that a girl’s parents don’t have any means to rescue their often underage daughters. 

Samreen’s father, Aftab Joseph, reported that his daughter had been captured by a Muslim man named Muhammad Amir. She was then forcibly converted to Islam and married against her will to the kidnapper. Even though the father had filed the report right after the incident in August, the local council kept delaying the matter. Muhammad Amir then accused Samreen’s father and family members of abducting her, starting a lengthy tribunal process. The persecutors were recorded as Muhammad Amir and Kaneez Fatima – this was the new Muslim name given to Samreen during her conversion to Islam. It seems that the kidnapper coerced the young girl into falsely accusing her family. Samreen’s family intends to seek justice for their daughter by taking the case to the high court.

False accusations are widely used tactics to persecute minority faith communities, such as Christians. Young girls and women are constantly at risk of sexual assault, abduction and forced conversion. Many families never see their girls again, as the authorities rarely bring the perpetrators to justice. 


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