A Christian family in Pakistan has come under assault after the Muslim employers of their 15-year-old daughter falsely accused her of stealing. Christian girls are often employed as domestic workers in Muslim homes where they are paid minimally and often mistreated. In this case, Mehwish Masih became sick late last year. She stayed home from work at the behest of her parents, who both work on a brick kiln. Masih’s Muslim employer demanded she return to work, but when Masih refused, her employers became enraged and accused her of stealing. Remember to pray for this Christian family today.
03/06/2017 Pakistan (Asia News) – Mehwish Masih, a 15-year-old Christian girl, and her 48-year-old father, Babar Masih, were indicted on false charges and are currently involved in a nightmarish legal battle to prove their innocence.
The Muslim family that employed Mehwish for months as a maid accused the two of theft and robbery. Father and daughter were arrested on December 8, 2016 and released on bail in the first week of February 2017.
The Masih are very poor Christian family living in Kamalpur (Faisalabad). Babar and his wife Ruqiya Bibi have four children, three girls and a boy. Their home is a very humble flat near the kiln where both parents work.
In October 2015, the family was contacted by Kiran Bibi, wife of Mian Mohammad Tariq, a Muslim entrepreneur. She asked that the couple’s 15-year-old daughter work for her as a maid. Finding themselves in difficult economic conditions, Babar and Ruqiya accepted.
Mehwish worked 16 months for the Muslim family, 18 hours a day for 5,000 rupees a month (US$ 50), living in her employers’ house. She was allowed to visit home once a month.
In September 2016, Mehwish felt pain to abdomen, and her parents brought her home, where she was diagnosed with severe appendicitis. They decided to keep her at home until she got better.
Kiran Bibi reacted angrily to this, telling the couple to send their daughter back to work. In the face of repeated refusals, she responded with verbal violence and threats.
During the last week of November, Kiran Bibi visited the family accompanied by police officers. She accused Mehwish and her father of stealing jewels worth 16 million Pakistani rupees (US$ 15,000) during her nephew’s wedding ceremony in January 2016.
Based on these allegations, father and daughter were summoned to the Kamalpur police station for questioning. They were released the next day.
On December 8, 2016, lured by the promise of settling the dispute, Babar and Mehwish went to the Tariq house where, called by the accusers, police were waiting to arrest the two Christians.