NGO Leaders in Pakistan Protest Against Increasing Numbers of Forced Conversions

04/04/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Last week, more than a dozen NGOs protested against the increasing number of incidents of minority women being kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam in Pakistan. At an event staged in front of the Punjab Assembly, these NGO leaders demanded new legislation to combat both kidnappings and forced conversions.

In Pakistan, the issue of kidnapping and forced conversion to Islam is one that effects all religious minority communities. Hindu, Christian, and Ahmadi communities across Pakistan have reported incidents in which young women are kidnapped, raped, forcefully converted to Islam, and forcefully married to one of their kidnappers.

In 2014, the Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan estimated that 1,000 Christian and Hindu women are victims of this abuse every year. In that report, the organization documented cases in which victims were as young as 12-years-old.

While this issue is gaining greater traction in the media, both in Pakistan and internationally, little is being done to combat it. The leaders participating in the protest called on Pakistan’s government to pass laws that would add stricter punishments for perpetrators of this abuse and would make child marriage a cognizable offence.

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