Pakistani Christian Woman Abducted and Coerced into Conversion

03/17/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Earlier this month, Saima Iqbal, a 35-year-old Pakistani Christian mother of three, was abducted by a Muslim man and allegedly forced to convert to Islam.

Naveed Iqbal, Saima’s husband, told local authorities that his wife was abducted from their home outside of Islamabad by a man named Muhammad Khalid Sati. After returning home from a night shift, Mr. Iqbal was shaken by his wife’s disappearance. He soon made a compliant to the local police, reporting the incident.

Mr. Iqbal said, “The police did not take immediate action in respect of my application. They lodged a police First Information Report (FIR) only after I threatened to harm myself.”

After 10 heart-wrenching days of searching, the police finally found Saima. However, contrary to Mr. Iqbal’s hope for a joyous reunion with his wife, the police notified him that she had converted to Islam and married the accused.

Fortunately, the conversion and the marriage certificates are fake, as they do not contain a cleric’s signature. Mr. Iqbal has appealed to the Pakistani Prime Minister and Pakistan’s chief justice to help him get justice for his family.

“I have challenged the forced conversion and the forced marriage of my wife in a magistrate’s court,” said Mr. Iqbal. The magistrate’s court has reportedly set March 19 as the hearing date.

Pakistan’s religious minorities face the unfortunately common practice of abductions and forced conversions to Islam. Pakistani authorities must enforce measures to prevent the increasing incidents of forced conversions of young Christian women. The government of Pakistan must give protection to Mrs. Saima Iqbal so that she can speak the truth without fear of abuse.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org.

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