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International Christian Concern

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For Immediate Release: Second Christian Child Raped in Pakistan Christians Become Targets for War in Iraq

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(7/11/03 2:41:27 PM) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) has just become aware of the rape case of a 10-year-old Pakistani child. On March 31, 2002, Natasha Emmanuel from Ismailabad, Wah Cantt was raped by Ghazanfar Mehmood, a Muslim neighbor. Following the incident, Natasha was taken immediately to the hospital where she was kept in the intensive care unit for three days. Although Natasha is very intelligent and religious, she has been psychologically depressed following the attack.

Ghanzanfar Mehmood has links with conservative and extremist Islamic organizations. Prior to the war in Iraq, Ghazanfar Mehmood lived in peace with Natasha’s family. After the war in Iraq began however, the Emmanuel family noticed a change in Mehmood’s attitude. It is reported that the rape was motivated by revenge for the war in Iraq.

Because Muslims view Christianity as a Western religion, Pakistani Christians are viewed as being pro-American. Some Muslims have vented their anger about the War in Iraq by acts of revenge, especially on Christian women and young girls. The raping of Natasha Emmanuel is the second attack and raping of a Christian girl in the last two months. Nine-year-old Christian Razia Masih was beaten and raped on April 26, 2003 in retaliation for the War in Iraq.

ICC urges American Christians to call the Embassy of Pakistan in protest of these two heinous hate crimes against Christian children. The Pakistani Embassy can be reached at 202-939-6200.

ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC delivers humanitarian aid, trains and supports persecuted pastors, raises awareness in the US Church regarding the problem of persecution, and is an advocate for the persecuted on Capitol Hill and at the State Department. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.