Advocacy Group: Rape Often Used to Persecute Christian Girls in Pakistan

A Christian teen was reportedly raped in Pakistan by three Muslim men while she was working, it emerged Tuesday and her case, according to an international advocacy group, is part of a troubling trend in which Muslim men use sexual assault as a weapon against Christian girls.

The International Christian Concern (ICC), an advocacy group, reported the event on their website Tuesday, after an investigation. Regional Manager for South Asia, Jonathan Racho, told The Christian Post that one of the organization’s reporters talked to the young woman in person.

The incident took place on Sept. 16, ICC has established. The 18-year-old girl, whose name was not revealed for security reasons, was working alone on a Muslim farm in the Village of Muphat Pura, in Kasur district. At 5 p.m. local time, three relatives of her Muslim employer came to her and allegedly raped her.

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Later, they warned her not to report the rape to anyone or else they would kill her and her brother, who also works on the farm, the teen told ICC.

"I am very sad about what happened to me," she reportedly said.

She explained that if she reports this case, it will be difficult for her and her family to live in the area.

"It's impossible for her to do [report the rape]," Racho told CP. "They have already warned her not to tell to the police. In Pakistan, when Christians bring their case to court or to the police there is a reluctance from the government to protect them."

The teen left the farm where she was working, according to Racho.

This case is not an isolated one, as many Christian girls are being raped by Muslim men in Pakistan, according to ICC.

"Rape has been used as weapon of persecution against Christian girls in Pakistan, a country where Christians are treated as third-class citizens," Racho said in a report on ICC's website. "In the Muslim majority country, Christian girls are particularly vulnerable to these types of crimes because Muslim authorities are reluctant to protect them when their rights are being violated by Muslims."

The president of the Pakistan Christian Congress, Nazir Bhatti, told ICC that the incidents of rape and enforced conversion of Christian women to Islam are rising every year. He added that 99.9 percent of rape cases in Pakistan are not being reported.

"If a Muslim man rapes a Christian girl, then he easily forces her to convert to Islam, marries her and covers up his heinous crime of rape under Islamic law," Bhatti told ICC.

CP reported on Sept. 26 that a Christian mother of five was allegedly raped by two Muslim men in mid-September. After she pressed charges, local Islamists reportedly threatened to harm her family unless the charges were dropped.

In January, CP wrote about a Pakistani Muslim who allegedly confessed to sexually assaulting five Christian girls, and then reportedly raped a sixth one, a 10-year-old Catholic girl in Punjab Province.

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