Saneha Kinza Iqbal, a 15-year-old Christian girl, was abducted by Saeed Amanat, a 30-year-old Muslim man, on her way to church in Faisalabad, Pakistan.
The abduction reportedly took place on 22 July, however, Saneha’s family was only able to file a report with local police on 19 August because officers initially refused to cooperate with the Christian family.
Saneha’s family fears their daughter has been added to the extensive list of Christian girls who, after being abducted and forcibly converted to Islam, are forcibly married to Muslim men.
Saeed Amanat, Saneha’s abductor, is a security guard at the Allied Hospital in Faisalabad. On 2 June, Rukhsana Bibi, Saneha’s mother, injured her hip and was hospitalised at Allied Hospital. Saneha would often visit her mother at the hospital, allowing Amanat to meet and become familiar with Saneha.
On 22 July Saneha went to church for morning prayers but never returned. Her family asked neighbours if they had seen Saneha and some said she was seen in a car with strangers. Later, a neighbour confirmed that one of the men in the vehicle was Amanat.
Waseem Morris, Saneha’s brother, met with Amanat’s father in an attempt to have Saneha returned to the family. At first, Amanat’s father promised she would be returned, but several days later, Amanat’s father changed his mind.
After this refusal, Saneha’s family began receiving threatening phone calls. These phone calls, made by Amanat, threatened Saneha’s family if they made any attempts to have Saneha returned home.
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 an element of religion.
Sources: Asia News, International Christian Concern
- Intercede for Saneha and her family. Pray for favour as they deal with the authorities. Pray she will soon be restored to her family.
- Pray that, in the meantime, the Lord would protect and preserve them and give them His peace and strength.
- Pray the authorities in Pakistan will do more to protect Christian girls from kidnappers and will pursue justice for affected families. Ask the Lord to soften the heart of Amanat.
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