This year, we have brought to you several accounts of how conditions for Christians in Pakistan are worsening, as the religious minority experiences both legal discrimination and social persecution.
In the Muslim-majority nation, which is ranked fifth by Open Doors USA’s World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian, those who blaspheme the prophet of Islam can find themselves facing harsh penalties, and even death.
So imagine the horror experienced by a Christian family when they discovered that their teenage daughter had not only been kidnapped, but forced to convert to Islam and marry an older man and that the courts would initially do nothing about it.
Sadaf Khan was 14 when she was abducted from her home and was forced into a life of sexual and domestic servitude to a family who threatened to kill her or her family if she did not accept Islam and “agree” to marry.
“In February 2019, Sadaf was 14 years old and she was abducted from her home. She just disappeared. Her parents had no idea where she went,” Joel Veldkamp of Christian Solidarity International, which ultimately worked to rescue Sadaf, told Faithwire recently.
“And then … they got a notification from the police, ‘By the way, your daughter converted to Islam and now she’s married to a man who is much much older than she is,’” he explained.
Sadaf’s parents hired a lawyer and took the girl’s “husband” to court, but the man was able to produce a fake birth certificate which fraudulently showed the girl as over 18, and thus able to make her own decisions.
In the court, the girl was fully veiled and so her parents couldn’t see her face, but they could tell she was frightened.
“The kidnapper … her so-called husband, brought in a forged birth certificate that said that she was 18 years old, which means that she’s free to make her own decisions,” Veldkamp explained. “So the judge just didn’t allow her to speak, didn’t ask her questions, just looked at the forged birth certificate and said, ‘Okay, yeah, this is good.’”
It was over a year later before CSI was able to get the family to an appeals court, which ultimately dissolved the “marriage” and permitted Sadaf to return to her family.
“It’s very clear that she was used, essentially, as a sex slave and a maid by this family,” Veldkamp noted of the girl’s “unbelievable horrible” experience. “And she told us that she had five … forced abortions during her 2 1/2 years of captivity.”
Now, Sadaf has received psychological counseling and is pursuing a beautician’s license as she recovers from her ordeal.
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