Benish Paul, of Karachi, was taken to a local hospital in a critical condition, with severe spinal injuries.
Benish’s parents were asked by the boy’s family for her hand in marriage. They refused the proposal and explained that she was Christian and was not going to convert.
The young man became angry with the family and he continued pressuring Benish to marry him – against both her and her parents’ will.
After repeated refusals, the boy threw Benish down from the second floor of a building in a fit of rage. She was taken to Jinnah Hospital, nearby, where she remains. It is thought that if she recovers, she may be left disabled for the rest of her life.
Benish’s family reported the attack to the police. The police officer started to blame Benish rather than arrest the young man. Her family are currently being pressured by police to drop the case.
Her treatment is far from unique in Pakistan: girls from Christian families are often pressured into marrying unsuitable Muslim men. Often girls will be abducted from their families and even raped, before being forced to marry.
In one instance a woman in her 20s, who was already married to a Christian man, was abducted and re-married. Police refused to intervene, saying that the couple’s Christian marriage wasn’t registered under Pakistani law.
Sources: CLAAS, Release International
- Pray for Benish, as she remains in a critical condition in hospital. Pray that she will make a recovery and won’t be left badly disabled by the attack.
- Pray that Benish’s family will receive justice following the attack and that local police and officials will be forced to act.
- Pray that both Pakistan’s police and government will take the issue of abduction and forced marriage seriously.
UPDATE 19 January 2019
Our contact in Pakistan has informed us, Benish is recovered and is now doing well. Thank you for your prayers.