Pakistan: Anonymous letters and forced marriages

Source: FSSPX News


Many members of the Christian community of Peshawar have received anonymous threatening letters, headed Death is knocking at your door. Pervez Masih, Catholic delegate of the minority, read out an extract of the letter to the National Assembly of Parkistan: “You are all invited to leave Christianity and become Muslims in order to have a place in paradise. Otherwise, after next Friday (August 10) your group will be quickly destroyed and you will be responsible for the loss of human life and the destruction of your property. Our kamikazes are going to kill you. This is an ultimatum.”

 On August 10, community leaders informed Majeed Marwat, local police chief of Peshawar, of the danger they were under. A decision was taken to step up security measures and checks in sensitive areas.

Similar threats were made on May 7 in Charsadda city, in the province of the North West Frontier, and on June 12, at Shantinagar, a village of the district of Khanewal in the south of the Punjab.

 Moreover, the Protestant association, Open Doors, working for persecuted Christians, has reported cases of forced marriages of minors from poor families – as are most Pakistani Christians – and forced conversions to Islam. Zunaira Rasheed, aged 11, abducted on August 5, and henceforth known as Fatma Bibi and said now to be 18 according to her papers. This is what her mother learned when she read the marriage contract. Shamaila Tabassum aged 16, was abducted on August 16. Her father, after having filed a complaint, received the certificate of his daughter’s marriage to a sheikh.

 Amina Zaman, a member of the Commission of Human rights in Pakistan, stated that “abductions and forced conversions of young Christians to Islam were on the increase, especially in the Faisalabad region (Punjab).” (Sources: Asianews / Open Doors)