Forever Scarred by Persecution – Victim of Forced Conversion in Pakistan Shares Her Testimony

Sad but common story. Pray Romans 8:28.

Forever Scarred by Persecution – Victim of Forced Conversion in Pakistan Shares Her Testimony
By ICC’s Pakistan Correspondent

Date Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – “I do not remember the exact date, but it was almost [the] middle of June, the hottest month of 2015, when my misery started, Komal*, a Christin teenager in Pakistan, told International Christian Concern (ICC) with tears in her eyes. Last year, Komal became one of the hundreds of Christian girls in Pakistan that are abducted, raped, and forcibly converted to Islam.

According to many Christian leaders, forced conversion to Islam is second only to false blasphemy accusations in issues affecting Pakistan’s vulnerable Christian community. According to a study by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace in Pakistan published in 2014, as many as 700 Christian women and girls, often between the ages of 12 and 25, are victimized this way each year.
Unfortunately, Komal was among the Christian victims affected by this issue last year. Similar to reports from other Christian victims, Komal was abducted by a group of Muslim men, beaten, raped numerous times throughout her six months of captivity, forcibly married to one of her rapists, forcibly converted to Islam, and forced into prostitution by her Muslim “husband.”
Recently, through a daring escape, Komal was able to return home to her parents and share her testimony about the persecution she faced.
“I am 15-years-old [and] the youngest daughter of my elderly parents who work at a brick-kiln factory,” Komal told ICC. “They did not have enough of [an] income for my education, therefore I have never been to school, although I wished.”
“I was sleeping along with my mother on a single bed during a power-cut time in my house yard,” Komal said, remembering the day she was abducted. “[At] around midnight, five armed men with masks climbed over the boundary wall and entered into [our] house.”
“The armed men brutally beat the entire family and threatened them [with] severe consequences if they shouted for help,” Komal continued. “Then, the kidnappers dragged me from my mother’s lap to their car in the street.”
“My eyes and mouth were covered with a piece of cloth and they took me to [an] unknown place where five of them raped me in front of each other, taking turns,” Komal said. “I think it was a neighboring city from where they kidnapped me.”
Komal abduction was, unfortunately, only the beginning of her suffering. “Burning my female parts with cigarettes was a routine exercise for them,” Komal shared when asked about how she was treated in captivity. “The kidnappers often teased Christians, especially disrespecting Christian women. Almost for two months they beat me every day for nothing and did not give [me] enough food to eat.”
As is often the case in forced conversion situations, Christian victims are coerced into legally changing their religion to Islam and accepting one of their rapists as a “husband” because of threats and violence. Because child marriage is illegal in Pakistan, documents claiming a victim is over 18 are often forged. As a result, the forced marriage is used as a way to trap a victim because, in Pakistan, a woman’s husband has full legal custody over his wife. Despite only being 15, Komal was also victimized in this way.
“After almost two months of inhuman treatment and humiliation, they took me to a courthouse and forced me to put my thumb impression on a document that declared me the wife of a Muslim,” Komal continued. “I did not want this to happen, however, I had no other option because they threatened to kill my parents if I did not obey. Therefore, they forcefully married me to a Muslim and converted me to Islam.”
“Without my wish they changed my religion, my identity and even my name,” Komal said. “My new husband, who continued to rape me for the next two months, then moved to another city. This man already had two wives at his house.”
“At this stage, I experienced the worst agony of all,” Komal continued. “I felt like dying every day when my husband forced me to have [relations] with other visitors for earning money. I had become a forced prostitute. He even hired a watchwoman to keep an eye on me almost round the clock.”
“I spent the next six months in captivity,” Komal explained. “However, I had faith that Jesus would get me out of this hell.”
“In February, I had a golden opportunity to escape,” Komal said. “Before sun rose, I managed to sneak away from the house to an urban area after walking for about five hours. I begged for money from the people there to cover a bus fare and was able to reach my home after sunset on the same day.”
“I am thankful for this mercy and the miracle of rejoining my parents now,” Komal said with a smile on her face. “I couldn’t stop crying when I hugged my parents and family for the first time. One can hardly imagine the painful situation which I and my parents experienced. It was like rising from the dead.”
Despite returning home to her family, Komal still faces significant struggles following her abduction and forced conversion. “When I returned home, I was five months pregnant,” Komal shared. “I am confused about what to do with my unborn baby. What will the future of my child be if I give birth to him or her?”
For all victims of forced conversion, the pursuit of justice is nearly impossible. In many cases, police side with the Muslim abductors and often forcefully return victims to their Muslim “husbands” because they have primary custody. In cases where victims are able to secure legal representation, the Christian family is threatened with violence or a false blasphemy accusation until they are forced to drop their case.
“I want justice, but do not want to put my parents into danger,” Komal said when ICC asked her what she wanted to do now. “Those people are very rich and influential and therefore we cannot go into the legal process against them. I just want to be divorced and try to plan a happier life.”
Unfortunately for Komal, her Muslim abductors may have already robbed her of that simple wish. As an uneducated Christian girl in Pakistan, her opportunities for securing a happy life were already limited before her abduction. Her best opportunity was her ability to secure a good marriage. The stigma of being a rape victim and giving birth to the child of an unknown Muslim father will likely deter many potential suitors, leaving Komal forever scarred by persecution.
For interviews with William Stark, Regional Manager for South Asia, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org
(301)-859-3842
 
# # #
You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church.
 
 
International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #241, Washington, D.C. 20006

pakistansharia

(Voice of the Persecuted) We have been reporting on the persecution of Christians in Pakistan for a long time.  Report after report of abuse against these Christians surfaces every day. From the burning Christians alive, destruction of entire communities and churches, to rape and torture of even women and children.   Some have been humiliated and dragged through the streets naked.  Many are forced into slavery through Pakistan’s bonded labor program, then die in these camps for their Christian faith as we saw in the case of the Christian couple.  The blasphemy law in Pakistan has long persecuted Christians.  A Christian woman, Asia Bibi sits in prison awaiting her death sentence for her faith in Christ.  She drank from a Muslim well accused of defiling it and then refused to denounce her faith.  For this, she was beaten, arrested and sentenced to death. Her case made global headlines and the international community has called for her release. Voice of the Persecuted still calls on the Pakistan government to do the right thing and release this woman wrongfully imprisoned. Pray with us for her release.

Exploiting religion, as we’ve seen things took a turn for the ugly during recent protests against the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed assassin of the former governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, a vocal critic of the blasphemy law. The Daily Times reported,

The rally led by the Sunni Tehreek Lahore leader, Mujahid Abdul Rasool and Sunni Ittehad Council leaders Razai Mustafa Naqashbandi and Muhammad Ali Naqshbandi, instead of registering a peaceful protest ensured that it made a mark in the wake of an almost complete media blackout of reactions against the Qadri execution. Not only were some policemen and lawyers beaten up by some unruly protesters, even clergy members like Allama Ahmed Ali Kasuri were harassed, and Razai Mustafa attacked with a baton. Posters, banners and signboards on the Mall Road were torn, a DSNG van of a television channel, and check post at the Punjab Assembly damaged, while some stone-pelting protesters marched from Data Darbar to Charing Cross. Another Friday, a day marked for special Juma paryers, saw violence from a huge rally of people who profess to be following a path of unity and peace.

The article claims religious groups wield a great deal of power and influence gullible minds to view the world in a regimented “us against them,” thus manufacturing a tinder box ready to explode at the slightest provocation. It went on to say, “instead of using their influence to impart a message of unity, brotherhood, kindness, empathy, compassion, and forgiveness, there is unfortunately, a great deal of emphasis on inciting hatred and violence.”

The voices and messages of enlightened religious scholars is overwhelmed by the cacophony created by all those self-avowed vigilantes of religion who believe destruction of property, life, unity and peace is the most effective way to register a protest. Be it against blasphemous cartoons made in Denmark, a film made in the USA, a book written in the UK, or a judicial execution of a self-confessed murderer of an unarmed man, the modus operandi is almost identical. Distort the truth, add layers of untruth to reality, paint it with a patina of piety, use the pulpit and loudspeaker of mosques to announce your declarations of hatred and vengeance, and watch ordinary people turn into killing machines. Read full article

Is it a wonder huge mobs attack Christians falsely accused of blasphemy and that extreme violence and hatred is often directed at Christians? Until the Pakistani government can curtail these dangerous leaders from inciting crowds with hatred, violence will continue to escalate against religious minorities in the country. The Pakistan government must hold these men accountable as accomplices when instigating criminal acts of the violence now and in the future.

A new report from Dawn News that Pakistan introduced a bill to protect women, show’s that the Islamic governing body is clearly barbaric.  They not only denounced this bill saying it would destroy society, they went so far as to name the assassin who murdered Salmaan Taseer, a martyr.

Pakistan is one of the top receivers of world aid.  The US is currently signing a deal to give Pakistan war planes.  Many in the west continuously shame those who call out the barbaric laws of Islam as Islamaphobic.  There seems to be a push to protect even defending these practices by the West and the UN.  In the name of tolerance? It’s a sad day when the world closes it’s eyes to uncivilized human rights abuses and persecution against innocent people.

We like to believe we live in a civilized world, yet the world is blinded by uncivilized, evil acts of violence. It runs rampant with a stamp of seeming approval from free western countries. They even refuse to help those fleeing this darkness by denying Christian persecution is happening.

Some western Christians and churches are also asleep, even going so far as to say, “we all worship the same god”.  We do not worship a god that calls for the discrimination, abuse, persecution, and slaughter of unbelievers or ‘rejecters of the faith’. Ask a former Muslim who has converted to Christianity and they will tell you, “Allah is not Yahweh.”  There is a vast difference between our God who inspired the Word in scripture, from what is written in the Quran. Yet they continue to ignore and deny.

Christians fleeing these lands on pathways to freedom are even hunted and persecuted in host countries like Thailand and also in Europe.  Is there no real freedom in the world today???  As governments claim they are helping refugees, they ignore the plight and voices of the persecute and the root problem that they’ve invited into their own lands. What could go wrong?

The leader of the free world, denies Christian genocide and abusive practices against Christians and women from Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries.  It’s not going away and the mountain that continues to grow from sweeping this under the rug is insurmountable.

Heading straight into a divided nation while the world is on fire. We in America are embroiled in a pathetic bid for a leader—our own divisions and unrest while untold horrors are taking place in the world.

A fire we will see rage out of control and change demographics forever.  Are their purposes humanitarian? Innocents are dying in untold suffering while western and Islamic nations war for control.  The west, east, and all in between are scrambling all across the scorched earth for power and wealth.  The collateral damage has come at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and millions displaced, from Africa to Iran and all points between.

They can deny it all they want, but this fire and darkness is spreading as the fastest growing cancer in the world, today.

Be a voice, pray for Justice and endurance for the faithful.

Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s