A 13-year-old Christian girl from Sikandarpura in Pakistan has reportedly been kidnapped from her parents, raped, and forced into marriage by a Muslim man.
The British Pakistani Christian Association reported on Monday that 47-year-old father Shahid Jaan reported last week that his 13-year-old daughter, Sana Bibi, had been abducted, raped and forced into Islamic marriage.
The Muslim man accused of kidnapping the girl was identified as Waheed Akhtar, a former neighbor. more >>
One year after the burning deaths of a Pakistani Christian couple for their alleged desecration of a Quran, fear still runs rampant within Christian communities of Punjab province since no assailants of the crime have been convicted and the vast majority remain at-large.
In November of last year, Shama and Shahzad Masih, a married couple with four children living in a community near Lahore, were attacked and murdered by a Muslim mob after witnesses claimed they found pages of the Quran in their trash.
On the anniversary of the murders, many within the community have expressed frustration with local officials regarding the progress of the investigation — or lack thereof. more >>
Muslim men who gangraped two teenage Pakistani Christian sisters at gunpoint last year have been acquitted of their charges by a Pakistani court after a key witness was bribed into changing his testimony.
During the middle of the night on Nov. 28, 2014, sisters Sherish and Farzana went outside of their home in the village of Jaranwala in the Punjab province to use the bathroom since their home did not have inside plumbing. The two girls did not return home that night and were found the next morning lying unconscious along the side of the road several miles from their home.
After the girls were taken to the hospital, they told police that a well-known Muslim landlord, Muhammad Shabaz, and other Muslim men had abducted them at gunpoint and raped them repeatedly throughout the night. more >>
Christian and human rights activists have hailed Pakistan's Supreme Court decision that the nation's notorious blasphemy laws, which have been used to target religious minorities, can be reformed.
"The court's judgment has provided hope to many that Pakistan may actually be able to reform its notorious blasphemy law. For many years, reform to the blasphemy laws was thought to be impossible because of the influence and fear of religious extremist groups in Pakistan. This recent judgement has opened the door for reform," said International Christian Concern's Regional Manager for South Asia, William Stark.
"Now, Pakistan as a society must take the next steps to walk through it. Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan have historically suffered under the country's blasphemy laws. Disproportionately accused and convicted with little to no evidence, the call for adequate safeguards against false accusations is truly a step in the right direction," Stark added. more >>
A Christian Pakistani woman was set on fire and nearly burned to death in Punjab province after she refused to marry her former boyfriend. The crime took place just weeks after another Christian woman was abducted, forced to marry a Muslim man and convert to Islam.
As the mistreatment of women and religious minorities in Pakistan continue to be the biggest human rights concern in the nation, AFP reported last week that 20-year-old Sonia Bibi was nearly burned to death by her disgruntled ex-boyfriend, Latif Ahmed, in the town of Multan.
After Ahmed asked Bibi to marry him and she refused his proposal, Ahmed covered Bibi with gasoline and set her ablaze. After being taken to Nishtar hospital in Multan, a doctor told AFP that 45 to 50 percent of Bibi's body was covered in burns. Despite having half of her body severely burned, Bibi is expected to survive. more >>
Policing authorities in the town of Sargodha in the Punjab province of Pakistan have arrested and charged a Christian man known healing the sick with allegedly committing the crime of blasphemy.
According to the British Pakistani Christian Association, Naveed John, a Christian resident from the Maryam Colony in Sargodha, was arrested on Oct. 8 and has been languishing in prison since his arrest.
The humanitarian agency's report states that John was arrested after police officers found a sword in his room that featured verses from the Quran inscribed into the blade. Family members told BPCA that police officials have demanded that they pay a bribe if they want John to be released. more >>