Pakistani Christian Sneha, 14, of Bahar Colony, Lahore, was kidnapped last month but has since been rescued and reunited with her family.
Sneha is the youngest daughter of Sabir Masih. She was a student of 9th Standard at Franciscan Girls High School, and in the evening, she also attended a local academy for tuition to prepare for her final exams.
Sneha said in her statement that Zeeshan, a Muslim boy, used to tease her every evening on her way home from the academy and had repeatedly pressured her for friendship. Sneha declined his request, telling him that it was not possible as she had to focus on her education and that they were of different religions, but Zeeshan persisted.
On the evening of 14 January, when Sneha was returning home, Zeeshan forced her into the street, behind the academy. She resisted him and Zeeshan became violent. He forcefully pushed her into a nearby vehicle, six more boys also entered the vehicle and started beating her.
They took her to an unknown place, where more men arrived and beat her, taking turns to rape her.
Sneha begged them to let her go home but they refused. Soon after, they asked her to sign some papers, when she refused, they further tortured her. Later she learned that these documents included a marriage certificate and a religion conversion certificate.
They told Sneha that if she told her family and gave their names, she would face severe consequences. They would also do the same to her two sisters.
Sneha’s father, Sabir Masih, reported her missing to police. The FIR (first information police report) was registered at Liaqatabad police station. On 19 January, police rescued Sneha and released her to her parents.
Partners of CLAAS-UK (Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement) are supporting Sneha’s family and providing free legal aid to them. Sabir Masih and his family are receiving threats from the kidnappers who are pressuring the family to withdraw the case against them. The family has been moved to an unknown place.
Last July, Prime Minister Imran Khan had termed the practice of forced conversions as “un-Islamic” and said there was no precedent in Islamic history for forcefully converting others. Christian and Hindu MPs like Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani and Naveed Amir Jeeva have raised this matter in the parliament several times but there has been no further progress.
- Praise God for the return of Sneha. Ask Him to help her overcome this horrific ordeal and bring her complete healing. Pray the Lord’s protection over her and her family.
- Pray for justice for this family. Pray too that more and more voices will speak out against this heinous practice and bring cultural change.
- Intercede for the many victims of kidnapping, forced conversion and forced marriage in Pakistan.
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