Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sexual assault used as weapon of persecution in Pakistan

A Christian mother of five has been raped in the village of Mustafabad, Kasur district. ASSIST News Service reports that Arifa Mushtaq (name changed for security reasons) was coming home by bus from her work in a garment factory when two locals grabbed her while another accomplice held a gun to her head.

Mushtaq Masih, Arifa’s husband, is devastated by the assault and has filed a complaint with the local police. ASSIST has learned that Arifa’s family is being threatened by two of the alleged rapists. Mushtaq was told that if he did not withdraw his complaint, his children would “go through what his wife has gone through.”

This is only one example of sexual assaults being used by Muslims as weapons of persecution against Christians. Advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC) reports that in Pakistan, which is a Muslim majority country, Christian girls and women are particularly vulnerable targets.

ICC reports that an 18-year-old woman was working alone on a Muslim-owned farm when three of her employer’s relatives allegedly raped her. She was told not to tell anyone or they would kill her and her brother. She says it is impossible for her to bring her case to the police because of the threats.

Jonathan Racho, ICC Regional Manager, says the police would provide little assistance.

“In Pakistan, when Christians bring their case to court or to the police there is a reluctance from the government to protect them,” said Racho.

Nazir Bhatti, president of the Pakistan Christian Congress, said the instances of rape and forced conversion of Christian women to Islam is on a continual rise. He said 99.9% of cases of rape in Pakistan are not reported.

“If a Muslim man rapes a Christian girl, then he easily forces her to convert to Islam, marries her and covers up his heinous crime of rape under Islamic law,” Bhatti told ICC.

You can read ASSIST’s article here and ICC’s article here.

You can help by praying!
  • Pray for Arifa and her family. Pray they would be given the strength and peace of their Saviour.
  • Pray for the 18-year-old woman who faces death threats if she reports the heinous crime perpetrated against her.
  • Pray for the Muslims who commit such terrible acts. Pray they would be overwhelmed by the love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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