» 04/13/2012, 00.00
Lahore: Christians and Hindus against "religious fascism" and forced conversions to Islam
Young Christian and Hindu women are being abducted, forcibly converted and married off against their will. Young Christian men and boys are being forcibly circumcised. Young Hindu men are jailed for befriending young Muslim women. In the past five years, between 400 and 500 Christians have been forced to convert to Islam.
(AsiaNews) - "Several young Hindu women have been kidnapped from their homes in
the dark of night, and dragged off to be forcibly converted to Islam. Usually,
this conversion is accompanied by a signing of the nikahnama or marriage contract, which strengthens the kidnappers
side of the story," said Dilip Kumar, a Hindu activist. The kidnappers want
complete freedom to convert, but "We can't just sit back and watch what our
community is going through," he added.
Yesterday, together with dozens
of Hindus and Christians and representatives of human rights NGOs, Kumar took
part in a demonstration against the forced conversion of young men and women
and the government's slow response to what has been called "religious fascism".
"It is a shame that Christian and
Hindu girls are kidnapped and forced to convert, in most cases they are latter
sold in sex slavery / prostitution," said Fr John Mall. "This is becoming a
hideous business and the authorities have kept a blind eye on the whole matter."
He was referring in particular to the case of Rinkle
Kumari, a young woman who was abducted, converted and forced to marry a Muslim.
"Appearing before the court, Rinkle
said: 'Kill me but don't send me back to prison or to the person who converted
me.' What did the Supreme Court? Instead of allowing her to meet her family,
she was sent to jail for three weeks to think about converting to Islam. Had she
said that she had converted, the court would have sent her to her
"In the last five years, there
have been up to 400 to 500 conversions of Christians," said Peter Jacob, national
director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace. "And something
equally horrifying: I know of forcible circumcision of young men in Punjab and
one in Baluchistan. Where are we going, one asks?"
"Two months ago, a Muslim girl
became friends with three Hindu boys. The Muslim family got the boys arrested
and the Hindu families killed. This is barbarianism," activist Diyal Singh
In yesterday's rally,
demonstrators also shouted slogans against Lahore's police chief, who recently
appeared before a court in connection with the
demolition of the Catholic-owned Gosh-e-Aman building.
One of the parties to a lawsuit
against the police official is a Christian woman, Zenobia Richard, who accuses him
of desecrating Bibles, a statue of Our Lady and rosaries.
The court ordered him to submit a
report of the incident within three weeks.
Christian girl abducted, converted and forced to marry a Muslim in Lahore
The family of Samariya Nadeem staged a protest this morning in front of the city's press club. For the past three weeks, their 16-year-old daughter has been in the hands of a wealthy landowner. As police and the authorities fail to free her, the Catholic Church calls for justice on the family's behalf. But for Muslim cleric, it is "not illegal to abduct and convert non-Muslims".
11/08/2016 16:32:00 PAKISTAN
Pakistan marks Minorities Day but does not guarantee their rights
Today is 69th anniversary of the historic speech by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of modern Pakistan, before the constituent assembly of the newly-established state. The Day honours the contribution of minorities to nation-building. Christian, Hindu and Sikh leaders want justice. Priorities are work, education and an end to forced conversions.
26/02/2016 16:22:00 PAKISTAN
Christian women in Pakistan forcibly converted to Islam and married off to their kidnappers
Tahira, 21, and Reema Bibi, 20, were abducted near their home last December. The Muslim men who took them, raped them and forcibly married them, and then kept them segregated. At least 1,000 Christian women are forcibly converted in Pakistan each year. If they escape, the police arrests a family member.
09/01/2017 16:56:00 PAKISTAN
Sindh rejects law against forced conversions, a big disappointment for Christians and Hindus
In November, the provincial assembly had adopted the law unanimously, outlawing forced conversion and marriage of minors. Every year about a thousand girls and young women are forced to repudiate their religion. Thirteen lawmakers who drafted the bill received death threats.
31/03/2017 18:46:00 PAKISTAN
Christian and Muslim activists want prosecutor disbarred for pressuring accused to convert to Islam
Syed Anees Shah acknowledged that he promised freedom in exchange for conversion to 42 Christian prisoners jailed in 2015 after a Taliban attack on two churches. Government and courts should take action against such “abhorrent behaviour".
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
18/05/2017 ASIA - VATICAN
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