Abducted Teen Reunited with Christian Family in Pakistan
04/20/2021 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Last month, police helped recover a Christian teen who was kidnapped and forcefully converted to Islam in Pakistan. The recovery marks one of the few occasions in which a Christian victim of forced conversion is recovered and reunited with their family.
On March 23, Beenish Javaid, a Christian teen from Lahore, was abducted by Muhammad Ramza, Mooj Ali, and a woman named Asia. Javiad was reportedly abducted from her home after attending an evening prayer service.
“It happened during a power-cut at night, so I couldn’t see the street properly,” Javiad told International Christian Concern (ICC). “As soon as I opened the door, someone put a mask over my mouth and dragged me to a nearby car. I heard someone saying tie my eyes and the next moment, I was unconscious.”
“The next thing I remember is that I was in a mosque among men and a cleric,” Javiad continued. “I was forced to sign blank papers and recite the Islamic proclamation of conversion. I refused, but they beat me and got what they wanted.”
Javiad’s family reported the abduction to police and an investigation was immediately launched. After about a week, police located Javaid in Haroonabad, a town located almost 200 miles south of Lahore. The police recovered Javaid and reunited her with her family in Lahore on March 29.
Two of the three abductors have been arrested. Javaid and her family are also optimistic that the court will nullify her forced conversion and will allow her to be reunited with her family officially.
According to a 2014 study by The Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan, an estimated 1,000 women and girls from Pakistan’s Hindu and Christian community are abducted, forcefully married to their captor, and forcibly converted to Islam every year. The issue of religion is also often injected into cases of sexual assault to place religious minority victims at a disadvantage. Playing upon religious biases, perpetrators know they can cover up and justify their crimes by introducing the element of religion.
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