Two Christian girls–Rebecca Masih and Saima Masih–were forced to marry and convert to Islam after they were kidnapped by a wealthy businessman on May 24. The kidnapping took place in the northeastern Pakistani province of Punjab.
“Kidnapping Christian girls, conversion and forced marriages have become common practice in Punjab,” said Haroon Barkat Masih, director of the Masihi Foundation, a Pakistani organization that offers legal aid to persecuted Christians. “Kidnapping Christian girls, conversion and forced marriages have become common practice in Punjab. The police have been bought; instead of serving the Punjab government they are servants of extremist groups. Punjab is becoming heaven for these groups: Muslim leaders openly call for violence in their sermons, without shame.”
“We have repeatedly appealed to the Punjab government, without receiving an answer. The government supports these groups.”