Pakistani Christian girls forced to convert to Islam

Victims of forced conversions are often girls from poor backgrounds who are unable to defend themselves against extremists because their community is deprived, defenceless and marginalised, reports Amir Mir

ICC Note:

“Available figures show that on average, eight to ten Christians are being forced every month by fanatic Muslims to convert to Islam, mostly in Sindh and Punjab provinces,” Rediff News reports.

By Amir Mir

4/28/2012 Pakistan (Rediff News) – While Pakistan’s Hindu minority community is already disturbed over the rising incidents of kidnapping of young Hindu girls and their forced conversion to Islam, the conditions for the country’s Christian minority are equally antagonising. They too are being forced by fanatic Muslims to convert to Islam, making them wonder if they still have a place in Pakistan.

“There is no compulsion in religion,” is a well-known saying that most Pakistanis who live in the land of the pure often tend to forget. While religion encourages conversions, it in no way tolerates coercion. But that is what the Christian community in Pakistan says is happening. With 1.6 per cent of the population and some three million believers, the Christian minority in Pakistan is the second largest religious minority after Hindus.

Available figures show that on average, eight to ten Christians are being forced every month by fanatic Muslims to convert to Islam, mostly in Sindh and Punjab provinces.

The victims of forced conversions are often girls from poor backgrounds who are then subjected to harrowing and extremely traumatic ordeals. Most of them are extremely vulnerable and are unable to defend themselves against extremists because their community is deprived, defenceless and marginalised. Christians, who constitute just about two percent of the Pakistani population, are paying a high price for being a part of the minority community.

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