Select Page
NIGERIA: Kidnapper Sentenced to 26 Years

NIGERIA: Kidnapper Sentenced to 26 Years

Recently, a federal court in Nigeria sentenced Yunusa Dahiru to 26 years in prison for abducting a Christian teenager in 2015, and forcing her into an Islamic marriage.

Additionally, her name was changed to ‘Aisha’, the name of one of the wives of Islam’s prophet Mohammad.

Her abduction gained media attention as her parents raised public awareness.

Months later, state police rescued Ese. It was revealed that she was five months pregnant with her daughter.

Ese’s family say they faced much harassment in their quest to have their daughter returned to them.

“I’m very happy and grateful because I see that all my suffering is not in vain,” Ese’s father said. “This case will serve as a deterrent to others. I thank God that truth has prevailed.”

Sources: The Christian Post, Christian Solidarity Worldwide

  • Thank the Lord for the outcome and answered prayers for the family. Ask the Lord to intervene on behalf of the many captives in Nigeria.
  • Pray for Ese’s future life and that of her daughter. May they grow in faith and knowledge of the Lord and find their confidence in Him.
  • Pray for the perpetrators of such crimes in Nigeria. Ask the Holy Spirit to be at work in bringing conviction, repentance and transformed lives.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

PAKISTAN: Abducted Christian Teenage Girl is Rescued

PAKISTAN: Abducted Christian Teenage Girl is Rescued

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.

Source: CLAAS-UK

  • 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.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

PAKISTAN: Series of Sexual Assaults

PAKISTAN: Series of Sexual Assaults

Five young Christian girls have been sexually assaulted in different parts of the province of Punjab in just the last two months.

Christian women and girls are among Pakistan’s most vulnerable members of society. In many cases, they are considered soft targets for abuse and assault because they are a double minority. To the assailants, these victims follow the wrong religion and are members of the weaker gender.

On 2 July, Saira Shoukat, age 15, was sexually assaulted by Muhammad Jafar and Ateequllah in Muzaffarghar. After several attempts by Shoukat’s family, local police finally registered a First Information Report against Jafar and Ateequllah. This simple process, which initiates a police investigation, took almost a month for the local police to complete. However, the victim’s family is still facing significant problems as they are being pressured into withdrawing the case.

Days later, on 8 July, Suneha Sajid, a 14-year-old Christian girl, was falsely accused of stealing gold worth approximately 1,500,000 PKR ($14,200) by her Muslim employer in Shahdara, located near Lahore, in order to cover up a sexual assault. According to local reports, Sajid resisted the assault and threatened to file a complaint. For this, she was locked in a room and beaten several times. Finally, to cover up the incident, Sajid was accused of stealing gold.

In August, Yasmeen Ashraf, age 15, and Muqadas Tufail, age 14, were kidnapped and raped by three men in Kasur. The pair of Christian girls were taken when they were on their way to work as domestic workers.

Also in August, another young Christian girl, named Kanwal, was kidnapped, raped, and forcefully converted to Islam by a group of Muslim men and a cleric in Lala Musa, located in the Gujart District. After reuniting with her family, Kanwal shared that she had been beaten, sexually assaulted, and threatened with the deaths of her brothers if she refused to convert to Islam. As with Shoukat’s family, Kanwal’s family is also facing ongoing threats from the assailants.

Following Pakistan’s third Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations, in which violence against women and religious minorities were highlighted, Pakistan promised to combat all forms of discrimination and violence. The country promised to reinforce the relevant legal framework, run awareness campaigns, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Intercede for the victims. Ask the Lord to comfort them and their families. Pray He will heal them of their physical and emotional trauma.
  • Pray against the stigma often associated with these kinds of attacks. May these victims instead be treated with compassion and justice.
  • Pray those in authority will do all they are able to ensure justice and protection of vulnerable minorities.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

PAKISTAN: Young Christian Boy Beaten to Death by Muslim Employer

PAKISTAN: Young Christian Boy Beaten to Death by Muslim Employer

Badil, a ten-year-old Christian Pakistani boy, was working at a factory to care for his mother and two brothers, was raped and tortured by his Muslim employers before he finally died on 10 July.

His employers, Mohammed Akram and Irfan, were arrested in Sargodha after being charged with his murder on 14 July in Rasheedabad, Faisalabad.

Badil’s father is a drug addict who drained the family financially trying to feed his addiction. His mother, Sharifa Bibi, works as a maid earning only 3500 Pak rupees every month ($32). Badil, being the eldest of three children, recognised the hardship at home and decided to leave the Presbyterian school he attended, and find a job. He worked for Mr Akram, at a scrap metal dealership for 100 rupees a day – less than one dollar. He had only worked for Mr Akram for ten days before the incident happened.

The work requirements were difficult for a ten-year-old boy. He was required to work from 9am to around 7pm. Two days before the murder, he came home extremely late with only half of what he should have been paid. His mother instructed him to stop going to work because he was being cheated, but he persisted, knowing that his meagre income could help the family.

On the morning of the incident, he went to work with his brother, Moon, who was willing to assist him with some of his tasks. By the end of the day, Badil informed his employers that he would not be coming to work the next day because he was not being paid well. According to Moon, Badil was beaten up by Akram and Irfan for saying he was no longer coming to work.

His almost lifeless body was left at his house and when his mother Sharifa saw him that evening, he was still alive. He passed away at the Intensive Care Unit at dawn.

Pakistani Christians face difficulty, discrimination and persecution because of their Christian identity. They are frequently disadvantaged, trapped in a cycle of poor education and poverty.

Sources: International Christian Concern, Pakistani Christian Post, The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Ask the Lord for justice for Badil and his family. Pray the outrage over the tragedy will be heard at all levels of society.
  • Pray Badil’s family will find comfort in knowing that they will one day be reunited with Him. Ask the Lord to help Moon to overcome the grief and shock of this loss.
  • Ask the Lord to use this case to bring change to the way minorities and the disadvantaged are often treated in Pakistan.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

PAKISTAN: Christian Woman Assaulted and Locked in a Room

PAKISTAN: Christian Woman Assaulted and Locked in a Room

After fleeing domestic abuse, Aansa Bibi took a job as a house cleaner for a Muslim family. Her employer’s daughters enjoyed listening to Aansa sing Christian worship songs, but the girls’ aunt cautioned her brother about allowing an infidel Christian to work in their home.

When Aansa’s employer told her she must accept Islam if she wanted to keep her job, Aansa replied that she could never leave Jesus Christ. The next day, her employer sent her to a friend’s house, where she was beaten, raped and locked in a room to “teach her a lesson”.

After two days, Aansa escaped and found refuge in a women’s shelter. But while staying at the shelter, Aansa’s ex-husband kidnapped her children, and her Muslim employer is still looking for her.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray for Aansa’s emotional, physical and spiritual recovery. Pray she feels the Lord’s presence with her as she comes to terms with all she has suffered, including this current trial.
  • Ask the Lord to reunite her with her children. Commit to the Lord their care and protection during the separation.
  • Ask God, our great provider to make available to Aansa, a suitable employment opportunity which will allow her to support herself and provide for her children.

Post your prayer for Aansa Bibi in the comments below.