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ICC Note:

According to reports, Christian women and girls in Pakistan are facing increased instances of kidnap and forced conversion to Islam in recent months. As many as five Christian girls have faced this persecution in just the last month. According to the Movement for Solidarity and Peace, as many as 700 Christian women and girls between the ages of 12 and 25 are kidnapped and forcefully converted to Islam in Pakistan each year. Often rape and forced marriage are used by perpetrators to trap their Christian victims as the shame of being raped puts pressure on the victims to remain silent and husbands are given full custody of their wives by law.

4/26/2016 Pakistan (Christian Post) – Five Christian girls have been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam just this month, according to a human rights group that monitors ongoing abuses of religious minorities in Pakistan.

“In April in the area of Kasur alone, five Christian girls were kidnapped and converted to Islam and forced to marry their captors. These girls are denied the legal protection of individual rights,” said Sardar Mushtaq Gill, a lawyer with Legal Evangelical Association Development in Pakistan.

Fides News Agency reported Monday that the latest victim was 23-year-old Laveeza Bibi from the Kasur district in Punjab, who earlier this month was kidnapped by two Muslims who stormed her house armed with guns, kidnapping the girl and threatening her parents.

One of the abductors, identified by the name Muhammad Talib, reportedly forced Bibi to marry him and become a Muslim.

Sarwar Masih, the girl’s father, reportedly went to the police, asking them to register a First Information Report of the crime, but officers had to be persuaded by Gill and a local pastor before finally agreeing to do so.

Gill said the ‘phenomenon continues to have unacceptable proportions,’ with many cases every year of Christian girls being forced into Muslim marriage going unreported.

Lead has vowed that it will continue to fight for justice for women in Pakistan, especially minority religious populations such as Christians and Hindus, which Gill said are the most vulnerable and defenseless people in the country.

There have been several different reports this past year of Christian girls in Pakistan being targeted, injured, and even killed by Muslims for refusing their sexual advances.

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