Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 17 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Mariana of Jesus
home iconNews
line break icon

Human rights group urges investigation into forced religious conversions in Pakistan

CHRISTIAN

Aamir QURESHI | AFP

Zelda Caldwell - published on 09/05/20

Activists cite a growing number of abductions and forced marriages of Christian and Hindu girls.

A human rights advocacy group in Pakistan has urged the government to investigate a growing number of cases of forced religious conversions in Punjab province, reported UCANews.

In a letter to the Parliamentary Committee for Protection for Forced Conversion, the Centre of Social Justice listed 74 cases of forced conversion of minority girls — 55 Christian, 18 Hindu and one Kalashiya — that have been reported since 2014.

The abduction and forced marriage and conversion of 14-year-old Maira Shabbaz made international headlines after she was kidnapped at gunpoint in April. Shabbaz has reportedly escaped her Muslim abductor and is now living in hiding with her family, according to the UCANews report.


WEB2-PAKISTAN-YOUNG GIRL-ACN

Read more:
In Pakistan, 14-year-old Catholic girl flees Muslim kidnapper’s house

“The abuse of religion and law is a growing phenomenon in Punjab. The minorities feel insecure due to the incidents of forced conversions, particularly of young Christian and Hindu girls. This is a long-standing human rights concern,” said the Centre for Social Justice and the People’s Commission on Minorities Rights in a press release issued on September 1.

The state religion of Pakistan is Islam, and over 96% of the population is Muslim. While the country’s constitution allows its citizens the right to practice their religion, it also requires that all laws conform with the Quran. Religious minorities face discrimination and are subject the Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which critics have charged has been used to persecute religious minorities.

Tags:
Pakistan
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
2
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
3
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
4
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
6
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for strength
7
COUPLE
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.