Pakistan: Report shows 100 Christians faced faith conversion, child marriage in three years
Islamabad: A report published by the Voice for Justice (VFJ) and Jubilee Campaign has shown as many as 100 cases of abduction, forced faith conversion, and forced and child marriage of girls and women belonging to the Christian community have been reported since January 2019 to October 2022 in Pakistan.
According to the report released on Saturday, as many as 27 cases were recorded in 2019, 12 in 2020, 42 in 2021, and 19 till October 2022.
The data showed that the highest number of cases - 86 - were reported in Punjab, followed by 11 in Sindh, two in Islamabad, and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, whereas no case was reported in Balochistan, reports Dawn News.
The report also includes the renowned cases of underage girls particularly Zarvia Parvaiz, Saba Nadeem, Chashman Kanwal and Sunaina James who became victims of forced faith conversions.
Zarvia Parvaiz told the court that she was heavily drugged, raped, beaten with a stick, burnt with cigarettes, and electrocuted by her abductors.
Saba Nadeem testified that “she was abducted and raped, and the perpetrator took her thumb impression on the certificate of marriage and conversion against her free will and consent and threatened her with dire consequences if she revealed the assault to anyone.”
The report revealed that 61 percent of girls were targeted before reaching 16 years of age, 18 percent became victims between the age of 16 and 18 years and 14 percent became victims above 18 years of age and the ages of seven victims were not ascertained.
The data reveals that 67 percent of the cases were reported in the five districts alone - Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, and Sheikhupura from Punjab and Karachi from Sindh - which exhibit a high rate of cases of underage minority girls, reports Dawn News.