Forced conversion in Pakistan becomes ever more common. Most of the victims and their families charge that Pakistani authorities frequently refuse to help the victims, and even side with the kidnappers, as we see in this case involving a 15-year-old girl.
Pakistan’s small and courageous Orthodox Christian community is as vulnerable to this persecution as are the rest of Pakistan’s Christians. The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, once again implores international human rights organizations to take action to protect Christian families in Pakistan.
For previous coverage of forced conversions and the persecution of Christians in Pakistan in general, see here.
“15-year-old Christian kidnapped by a married Muslim with four children,” by Shafique Khokhar, Asia News, August 20, 2020:
Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – A 15-year-old Christian girl, Saneha Kinza Iqbal, was kidnapped by a 30-year-old Muslim, Saeed Amanat, married with four children. The kidnapping took place on July 22, but the girl’s family was only able to file a complaint yesterday because the police refused to help them.
Saneha’s family fears that their daughter will be added to the growing number of Christian girls who, after a kidnapping and forced conversion to Islam, are married to Muslims.
Only with the help of an association that supports women’s rights (the Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation, Awam), the family was able to file the complaint at the Jhang Bazar police station in Faisalabad.
Saneha is the youngest of five children of 55-year-old Protestant pastor Morris Masih who resides at Nasrat Colony Jhang Road in Faisalabad. She is known as a tenacious and bright high school student and dreams of becoming a public representative in government.
The kidnapper, Saeed Amanat, is a security guard at the entrance to the orthopaedics unit of the Allied Hospital in Faisalabad. On 2 June, Saneha’s mother, Rukhsana Bibi, slipped and injured her hip. She was hospitalized in the orthopedics unit until 13 June. Saeed Amanat’s work allowed him to meet Saneha, who often accompanied her mother to the hospital, and to get information on where she lived. The man lives in a village 60 km from Faisalabad, is married and has four children.
On July 22, Saneha went to church at 5.30 for her morning prayers, but she never returned home. After a long wait, the family asked the neighbors for news. Some said that the girl had been seen leaving in a car with some strangers. A neighbor confirmed that one of the men in the car was the hospital guard, Saeed Amanat.
Saneha’s brother, Waseem Morris, 26, informed the police, but in vain. He then went to the kidnapper’s village, where he met Saeed Amanat’s father, who admitted his son’s crime. At first, in front of the village elders, he promised that Saneha would be returned to her home, but a few days later he changed his mind. In any case, he stated that since his son is already married and with four children, it will be difficult for Saneha to be accepted by the family.
On July 28, Pastor Morris Masih’s family received a call from the kidnapper, who threatened them if they dared to take any action to bring Saneha home….