Pakistani Christian mother of three forced to convert to Islam by kidnapper

Source:  www.barnabasfund.org

Date:  March 26, 2019

A Pakistani Christian mother of three was abducted, tortured and forced to convert to Islam by a Muslim man who then forced her to marry him, according to local news sources.

Saima Iqbal, who was already married to a Christian man, tearfully described in a Facebook video how she was snatched from her home on the evening of 25 February.

Pakistani Christian mother, Saima Iqbal, was reunited with her husband after harrowing kidnapping ordeal [Image credit: International Minorities Concern (Facebook video)]
Pakistani Christian mother, Saima Iqbal, was reunited with her husband after harrowing kidnapping ordeal [Image credit: International Minorities Concern (Facebook video)]

Saima’s husband, Naveed Iqbal, reported the matter to police but they initially refused to investigate and sided with the kidnapper.

Mr Iqbal said the police only acted after he threatened to set himself on fire.

Mrs Iqbal was reunited with her husband and children, aged 4, 8 and 13, after her kidnapper, Muhammad Khalid Sati, was arrested on 5 March.

“I have challenged the forced conversion and the forced marriage of my wife in a magistrate’s court,” said Mr Iqbal, who is awaiting the court’s judgment.

Non-Muslim girls and women in Pakistan are very vulnerable to kidnap, forced conversion and marriage to Muslims, and authorities rarely intervene. A report compiled by a Pakistani NGO in 2014 estimated that every year at least 700 Christian and 300 Hindu girls and young women in Pakistan suffer this kind of abuse.

Please join us in prayer: Lift up to the Lord Salma Iqbal. Thank God for her safe return to her family. Pray that she will be comforted as she recovers from her ordeal, secure in the knowledge that the LORD is her strength every morning and her salvation in time of distress (Isaiah 33:2). Ask that Mr .Iqbal’s legal case will be successful, so that his marriage to Salma will be restored under Pakistani law and her Christian faith recognized under law. Pray that Pakistani Christian women and girls, who are vulnerable to abuse, will know that God is their refuge, strength and an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

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