For Immediate Release
PAKISTAN S SECOND CLASS CITIZENSVIOLENCE AGAINST CHRISTIANS ON THE RISE IN PAKISTAN
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( Washington , D.C. ) The Washington D.C. based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC www.www.persecution.org) has recently learned of two cases illustrating the lack of rights that Christian women have in Pakistan . The first, is the kidnapping of Fozia Zafar, 13, who was taken by three young Muslim men while she was walking to her uncles house on February 8th, 2005. Although the family of Fozia was able to discern who took their daughter from eyewitness accounts, local police officials initially refused to file a case on behalf of the missing girl. Only after the family contacted the Divisional Police Office authority, would the local police file a case. Shortly after two young men were arrested in connection and are currently being held. But the third young man is still missing along with Fozia. Police have not taken any further action, mainly because the girl and family are Christians.
ICC also learned that a new Christian bride named Alina, 32, from Karachi was severly beaten by her husband after she refused to convert to Islam. The incident occurred on 20 February 2005, when Alinas brother came to defend her refusal to convert. Alinas husband threatened him with a gun, bound him and then beat Alina with an iron rod, and bit her nose, breasts, and genitals as she lay naked, bleeding on the floor.
Neighbors heard her cries and eventually responded causing her husband, Faisal Raees ul Hussain to run away. She was taken to the hospital, but had several broken bones and is most likely sterile because of the damage inflicted by the beating. The husband subsequently visited his wifes immediate family with a group of 12 armed men and threatened their lives if they spoke out against him. Faisal is still roaming free and authorities have refused to file a police case against him.
The U.S. State Department has named Pakistan a Country of Particular Concern for its egregious religious freedom record, and continues to notes the lack of fundamental rights for Christians. International Christian Concern is calling for U.S. lawmakers to write letters urging Pakistan and President Musharraf to allow Christians fundamental rights and protection in the country. ICC is also calling on all concerned peoples to get involved in standing up for the rights of women and Christians in Pakistan , by writing letters to Congressional leaders so that they can take action. We must not stand by and allow for an entire group of people to be treated as second-class citizens and have their persecutors protected by government officials.
Christians in Pakistan continue to be considered second class citizens in Pakistan , and find themselves powerless and discriminated against in the Muslim society. Over the last three years, attacks on Christians have risen, and Christians are not protected by local officials. Government authorities have acted as though Christians are a people without rights. Christian women are especially downtrodden as they represent everything valueless in Pakistani society.
ICC is a Washington , D.C. 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 regarding the problem of persecution, and is an advocate for the persecuted on Capitol Hill and the State Department.
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