06/12/2021 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – According to Asia News, Christian leaders in Pakistan are calling for concrete action to be taken against abductions and forced conversions of underage Hindu and Christian girls. A study done by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan in 2014, estimates 1,000 Christians and Hindus are abducted and forcefully converted to Islam every year.
“In our country, we have laws, commissions and a constitution that supports minority rights, but, unfortunately, some religious and political parties have become an obstacle to implementing them,” Mariyam Kashif, an activist with the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, told Asia News.
According to Pakistan’s criminal laws, abduction, forced marriage, and underage sexual intercourse are all criminalized. However, when the issue of religion is introduced into these cases, courts often side with the abductors, accepting forged marriage and conversion certificates.
Christian leaders have called for new laws to be enforced to combat the issue of abductions and forced conversions. Specifically, there has been a call to raise the age of marriage to 18 at the national level and for forced religious conversions to be explicitly criminalized.
With these new laws, it is hoped that the safety and security of Pakistan’s Christian and Hindu communities will be preserved.
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