EDITOR’S NOTE — The following story includes references to sexual assault that could be upsetting for some readers.
A teen Roman Catholic girl testified in a Pakistani court about being kidnapped and raped by a Muslim man who forced her to convert and marry him.
Human rights activist Lala Robin Daniel called 15-year-old Saba Nadeem Masih of Faisalabad “brave” for her June 6 testimony. Most girls in Saba’s situation falsely testify that they agreed to the conversion and marriage to protect their family from threat of harm, Morning Star News reported.
Saba testified that Muhammad Yasir Hussain, 45, grabbed her May 20 on her way to work and made her inhale a chemical that rendered her unconscious. She awoke in Gujrat city, where Hussain raped her for two days.
Daniel said at least 20 of Hussain’s relatives were placed in custody for questioning before Saba was located, though he has not been captured.
Bishop Azad Marshall, president of the Anglican Church of Pakistan, said teen girls from Christian and Hindu communities are frequent Muslim targets for forced conversion and marriage.
Morning Star, utilizing information from different groups, reported as many as 1,000 females in religious minorities in Pakistan each year are forced to convert and marry Muslims. The Center for Social Justice says 63% of those are age 14 or younger.
Pakistan is No. 8 on Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.