Christian Girls Face Uphill Battle for Justice After Being Raped in Pakistan

ICC Note:

Christian women in Pakistan exist on one of the lowest rungs of the country’s social ladder. Both the wrong gender and the wrong religion, Christian women are often targeted for sexual assault because of their low status. For some extremists, these women do not hold equal status and can be assaulted at will. The battle for justice is often an uphill one. Local police and courts avoid pursuing cases of sexual assault on behalf of minority women and the families of perpetrators are often allowed to intimidate the victims throughout any trial process. Please remember to pray for Pakistan’s Christian women today.

3/9/2015 Pakistan (Christian Post) – An organization based in the United Kingdom continues to push for justice on behalf of two Christian girls who were gang raped by five Pakistani Muslims.

Last December the Pakistani teenagers, named Sherish and Farzana who live in the Islamic Republic’s Punjab province, were reportedly gang raped by the five Muslim men because they’re Christian.

The British Pakistani Christian Association has stepped in to help Sherish and Farzana, as well as their family, in the wake of the gang rape and at least one violent incident of intimidation.

Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA, told The Christian Post about how his organization came to learn about the crime.

“One of our Pakistani officers, Shamim Mahmood, is a reporter for a Pakistani daily. On hearing about the gang rape incident, he informed our head office and we immediately organized for him to visit the family to see if we could offer any advocacy or support,” said Chowdhry.

“At the time the family was being visited by a number of charities and informed us that they were being cared for.”

Chowdhry also told CP about the status of the case, which has been a challenge to undertake given the intimidation from some in the community and apparent corruption within local law enforcement.

“Two of the three men with rape charges have been given bail and as a consequence of this we have paid for the father to meet a Christian human rights lawyer, who runs a legal NGO, in Lahore,” said Chowdhry.

“We want to see justice for these girls and a win will send a strong message to potential rapists that Christian girls are not their playthings.”

In recent years, there have been an increasing number of violent incidents of intolerance against Pakistan’s Christian minority.

Often these acts are performed by either pro-Taliban terrorists with ties to neighboring Afghanistan or mobs stirred up against local Christian families.

According to the BPCA, the family of the two rape victims has been “left to their own devices” as local help has been “slow” and local authorities have been less than cooperative in pursuing justice.

Last month, a pair of motorcyclists reportedly fired into the family’s house, threatening them for being Christian and telling them they shouldn’t be living in an Islamic country.

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