Pakistani police are reportedly refusing to help a Catholic teenager who was abducted and forced to marry a Muslim man, according to reports.
Saba Masih, 15, was allegedly taken in April or May in Faisalabad, Pakistan, and forced to marry her 45-year-old captor before being implored to convert to Islam, Morning Star News reported.
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Nadeem Masih, Saba’s father, said his daughter was taken while on the way to work with her sister; the girls were stepping up to financially help their family after an injury precluded their mother from working.
The purported abduction is another heartbreaking turn in the family’s already difficult circumstances.
“I was forced to take my children, four daughters, and two sons, out of school due to poverty, and my wife and elder daughters are working as household helps to supplement our family income,” Masih said. “We are already suffering from poverty, and now our daughter has also gone missing.”
The captor reportedly has two other wives but does not have any children with them. Masih said he called authorities but alleged no one is helping.
“The police are not cooperating with us. The investigating officer keeps telling us that Saba has converted to Islam and contracted marriage with [the captor], but he has not shown us any document as yet,” he told Morning Star News. “We are pleading with police to at least recover the girl and arrange our meeting with her so that we can ascertain the facts ourselves, but he doesn’t listen to us.”
Masih said the family has nowhere to turn. Some reports indicate the family is receiving local help to try and implore authorities to save their daughter, though the details are not clear.
A teenage girl in Pakistan was kidnapped in 2019, converted to Islam against her will, and was forcibly married to an older man. She was later rescued and reunited with her family.
Christians also face additional constraints. As previously reported, a Christian man in Lahore, Pakistan, was reportedly killed earlier this year by a “mob of radical Muslims.”
The shocking attack on the 25-year-old victim allegedly unfolded during a dispute over a wall being constructed — a local point of contention between Muslims and Christians in the area, according to International Christian Concern (ICC), a persecution watchdog.
Samson Salamat, a local human rights activist, declared the attack shows that Christians in Pakistan are viewed as “nothing.” He added, “They can kill us any time, even in the presence of police.”
And earlier this year, two priests were shot. Father William Siraj, 75, died instantly, and Father Naeem Patrick was shot in the hand.
Pakistan ranks eighth on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List, a rundown of the countries with the most intense anti-Christian persecution.
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