For information about the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan, see here.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, see here.

“Girl Kidnapped, Forcibly Converted/Married in Pakistan,” Morning Star News, April 25, 2024:

LAHORE, Pakistan (Christian Daily International–Morning Star News) – A Christian father in Pakistan who took his 15-year-old daughter out of school to protect her from harassment by a Muslim is now trying to free her from kidnapping and forcible marriage/conversion by the same man, he said.

“It’s been nearly two months now that I’m desperately searching for my minor daughter, Muskan,” Salman Masih of remote Tando Ghulam Ali town in Badin District, Sindh Province, told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News. “She went missing from home on March 11, but despite my frantic appeals to the police for recovering her, my child is still in the custody of her Muslim abductor, Arsalan Ali.”

Masih, a Catholic, filed a report with police within an hour of Muskan’s abduction and pleaded with them for immediate action, but they ignored him, he said.

“After several hours of waiting, I was told that a police team would come to my home the next day, but I would have to pay them 5,000 Pakistani rupees (US$1,793) in ‘fuel cost,’” he said. “The police’s indifferent attitude helped the accused in moving my daughter to a safe location and carrying out his nefarious act.”

Ali, estimated to be between 25 and 27 years old, forcibly converted Masih’s daughter to Islam and forged a marriage certificate as legal cover for the crime, Masih said.

“According to the documents handed to me by the police, the Islamic conversion and Nikah (marriage certificate) were held on the same day Muskan was abducted from home,” he said. “The next day, Arsalan filed a petition in the court of Justice of Peace in Mirpur Khas tehsil in the name of Muskan in which stated that she was an adult aged 19 years and had converted and married of her free will.”

The petition in Muskan’s name also sought police protection citing supposed threats from Masih’s family, he added.

Masih said that his daughter had complained that the suspect used to harass her when she went to school.

“I don’t believe that Muskan has gone with Arsalan willingly, because she herself had told us about his evil actions,” he said. “We brought the matter in to the notice of Arsalan’s family, and they had assured us of reining him in, but he did not stop.”

Masih said he’d been forced to discontinue Muskan’s education due to Ali’s harassment.

“Muskan did not have access to a mobile phone, and she did not go out of the house alone, which is why I believe she had no communication with the accused,” Masih said. “I don’t know how he managed to abduct her from the house on that fateful day.”

The impoverished sanitation worker said he feared Ali would traffic his daughter for sex.

“Arsalan has a notorious reputation in the neighborhood, and I fear something bad will happen to my child if she is not recovered from his custody,” he said. “I appeal to the Christian leadership to help me in finding my daughter and saving her from exploitation.”

His attorney, Luke Victor, said he had filed an urgent motion in the Hyderabad Bench of the Sindh High Court challenging the petition in which Muskan was forced to make false claims about her age, religious conversion and marriage to the kidnapper….