On Tuesday 22 August, police found Sameera, a 16-year-old Christian girl who had been kidnapped on 31 July. She had been raped, forcibly married to her captor, and forced to convert to Islam. A 2014 report by a Pakistani NGO estimated that each year at least 700 Christian girls and young women and 300 Hindu girls and young women suffer similar abuse. Many abductors escape justice because the girl is not able to testify freely in court, while her abductor claims she is now a Muslim and freely consented to marry him. Abductors often produce a “conversion certificate.” So great is the problem that in November 2016 the provincial assembly in Pakistan’s Sindh province unanimously passed a bill to make forced conversion illegal. However, in Januarythis year the assembly was told to “think again,” after Pakistan’s Council on Islamic Ideology objected to it.
From Barnabas Fund project partner