The kidnapping and forced conversion of 14-year-old Chashman is, unfortunately, yet another example of a phenomenon that is all too common in Pakistan. Kidnapping, forced conversion, and forced marriage of Christian and Hindu girls takes place repeatedly, while authorities for the most part turn a blind eye or even side with the kidnappers. Most of the victims and their families charge that Pakistani authorities frequently refuse to help the victims at all. Pakistan’s small and courageous Orthodox Christian community is as vulnerable to this persecution as are the rest of Pakistan’s Christians.
For previous coverage of forced conversions and the persecution of Christians in Pakistan in general, see here.
“Faisalabad: another Christian girl kidnapped and converted to Islam (VIDEO),” by Shafique Khokhar, AsiaNews, August 5, 2021:
Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – Another Christian girl has been kidnapped and converted to Islam in Pakistan.
Speaking to AsiaNews, Chashman’s father, Gulzar Masih, said that on 28 July, he had gone to her school to pick her up; not finding her, he had immediately gone to the police to report the disappearance of the 14-year-old.
A few days later, the kidnappers sent the family a video and documents in which the girl claims to have converted of her own free will.
Gulzar, a rickshaw driver by profession, went back to the police station to get some answers, to no avail.
The story came to light only after Lala Robin Daniel, a Faisalabad-based human rights activist, got involved. “Punjab authorities should do their job to free girls who are kidnapped,” he said.
Daniel called for legal action against the kidnappers. “As long as kidnappings continue undisturbed, girls and their families will feel unsafe.”
Muhammad Ijaz Qadri, district president of the Sunni Tehreek organisation, released a letter certifying Chashman’s conversion to Islam, whose “Islamic name from now on will be Aisha Bibi”.
Sunni Tehreek is part of the Barelvi revivalist movement, which aims to preserve Islam in the Indian subcontinent and to which 60 per cent of Pakistani Muslims adhere….