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(Compass) – Two Pakistani children were snatched away from their Christian mother by their Muslim father, Abdul Ghaffar, on September 13. Joshua, 5, and Miriam, 3, were secretly spirited from the Lahore Family Court shortly after Ghaffar had begun a two-hour court-supervised visitation session. Seven years ago, as a teenager of 17, the children’s Christian mother, Maria Samar John, had been abducted and forcibly married to Ghaffar. For the next two and one-half years, she was a virtual slave in Ghaffar’s home in Gujranwala , locked in the house and beaten by both her husband and mother-in-law for refusing to say the Muslim prayers. She had borne a son and was pregnant for the second time when she managed to flee her captors. Since December 2000, Maria and her children have been in a safe-house location. Maria obtained a legal divorce from her forced marriage in February 2003. “Their mother is very sad and very worried about the children,” a Christian lawyer told Compass today.