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    » 12/09/2006, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    Two Christians freed after months of torture by Muslim

    Qaiser Felix

    Muhammad Ikram kidnapped the woman who used to clean his house together with her 13-year-old daughter. He tortured them for months in a bid to force them to convert to Islam. They were released thanks to the intervention of the Lahore court and the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance.

    Sialkot (AsiaNews) – The All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) has managed to secure the release of two Christian women who were kidnapped and tortured for three months by a Muslim couple of Sialkot who wanted to convert them to Islam. The APMA director, Shabhaz Batti, told AsiaNews about the women and called on the government to “punish those guilty of this atrocious incident as severely as possible.”

    Bhatti told how Nasreen Pervez, 40, and her daughter, Razia, 13, “went to the home of Muhammad Ikram, a Muslim of Sialkot, after the death of Nasreen’s husband, Pervaiz, in September.” Pervaiz “ran a poultry breeding farm in Punjab, but his business was struck by bird flu and he got ill and died. After his death, mother and daughter started to work as servants in the residence of Muhammad, their neighbour.”

    However, after they had been working there for one month, Muhammad “refused to pay their salary and together with his wife, kidnapped the two women. They tore the crosses from their necks and forbade them to pray. They demanded that the women change their faith and convert to Islam and when they refused, they tortured them.”

    At night, “they were chained to prevent them from escaping. Razia’s right foot was injured with the shards of a broken bottle and both had burns on their bodies. One day, Muhammad threatened to kill their relatives if they continued to be hard headed and to refuse to change religion or if they tried to escape.”

    He even brought a bottle of acid and a syringe: “You will die with this in your body”. Nasreen responded: “You may kill us but we will not convert.”

    After three months, Nasreen’s eldest daughter, Sheeba, went to visit her mother and little sister but Muhammad and his wife chased her away and threatened her: “Don’t come back unless you want to see them dead.” Worried, Sheeba turned to the village elders who contacted APMA.

    The association “immediately went to the Lahore High Court and denounced what was going on. The judge ordered the intervention of a court bailiff who, together with our team, freed the two women.”

    Bhatti said: “The growing victimization of Christians and minorities in general is alarming. We try to help the families of victims and at the same time, to find legal and practical channels to help those submitted to such violence, but the government must intervene forcefully to stop them.”

    He said Christians around the world “can help us with prayer: ask the Lord for protection and justice for those who suffer for their faith.”

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    See also

    10/09/2008 PAKISTAN
    Christian girl, kidnapped and converted by Muslims, returned to family
    The alleged conversion has been found to be invalid, because the girl is just 10 years old. But her sister, who was also kidnapped, has been judged to have married by her own will, because she is "more than 16 years old", although her relatives say she is only 13, and that they will appeal to the supreme court.

    08/04/2009 INDIA
    Thousands converting back to Hinduism: truth, or propaganda?
    In Kalyan, in Maharashtra, Hindus are celebrating the "reconversion" of 1,130 families. The guru Narendra Maharaj urges the faithful not to be corrupted by the Christian missionaries, and calls on them to vote for the parties that defend the Hindu community. Bishop Fernandez: Christians must continue to spread the message of love, and the values of the Gospel.

    23/03/2005 PAKISTAN
    Religion back in passports


    19/03/2009 INDIA
    Radical Hindu leader killed. Tension in Orissa
    Prabhat Panigrahi had been arrested for involvement in the attacks against Christians. In the district of Kandhamal, there are fears of a new wave of violence. Meanwhile, Christians are being marginalized: they may return to their villages only if they convert to Hinduism.

    06/07/2006 PAKISTAN
    Pakistani bishop: "Don't forget Javed Anjum, killed for refusing to deny Christ"

    The bishop of Faisalabad has urged the world to keep its eyes on the trial of one of the torturers of the 19-year-old Catholic. The trial is in danger of being suppressed because of threats by Muslims against the lawyer and his family.





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