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Friday, 19 August 2011

Alfred Arifa - Drugged, kidnapped, allegedly married, raped, beaten and locked away! Sound familiar?

Everyday I receive reports from Pakistan that churn my insides, none more so than the reports of young Christian women who find themselves subject to the horrendous torture of rape and forced Islamic marriage.  

Police insouciance if not reticence to get involved in theses cases, has made such activity a primary habit for men of loose morals or those with a  fundamentalist agenda.  

I could spend all day naming innocent victims like Farah Hatim, Mariam Gill or poor 2 year old Neha - who has devloped long term physical defects and still suffers trauma, as a consequence of the pernicious attack on her at such a young and vulnerable age.

It is very disheartening that despite the efforts of so many humanitarian groups, the situation for minority groups in Pakistan has altered so little.  Many could argue that the intensity and frequency of incidents has worsened in recent years.   Yet this is where we are and we must all continue the campaign for justice!

The recent video of the successful exit of Neha and her family from tyrannical Pakistan to Canada is a story of success that fills my heart with joy.  However, such escapes are few and the majority of sufferers are still in hiding, many of whom obtain little support.  

The latest story is one with so many similar facets, Kidnap, rape forced marriage, torture and ignorant Police are themes that serve to create nausea in any person with a modicum of moral fibre. 

The pain continues....

Please pray for all the young single and married women from minorities in Pakistan.  They are never safe from the widespread depravities that exist in a country that has lost connection with it's original passions, ideologies and beliefs.   Pray for their safety, their strength in adversity and    
for God's watchful eye of protection to remain over them.

Here is Agenzia Fides report on the latest victim:

Another case of a Pakistani Christian girl kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam was reported to Fides by the Pakistani Christians Association in Italy.

Alfred Arifa is a 27-year old Catholic girl, from Nawa Killi, Quetta, who was kidnapped by a Muslim man, Amjad, in May 2009. The man was helped by two accomplices to coordinate the pre-planned kidnapping. We are talking about two of Arifa's trusted friends, Lubna and Rebecca. She went to Rebecca's house where she was given drugs in a cup of tea.

Once she fell unconsciousness, the young woman was taken away by Amjad. When Arifa returned to her senses she found herself in Amjad's house. Amjad told her that she had converted to Islam and had married him, showing her a fake marriage certificate.

Arifa denied that she had converted to islam, much less to have married him, since she was unconsciousness. To overcome the resistance on behalf of the girl, Amjad subjected her to mental and physical torture. Arifa was constantly drugged, severly beaten and locked in the house for two years. Arifa attempted to escape several times.

The night before August 1, Amjad had beaten Arifa severly, causing other internal injuries. On August 1, she found for the first time in two years the front door of the house unlocked. Although seriously injured, she did not fail to take advantage of the opportunity; She escaped from the house. She took a rickshaw and went to the Civil Hospital, where she was given primary treatment. She then went to her brother Adnan.

The woman then filed a complaint against Amjad, but the police has done nothing so far to bring the culprit to justice. On the other hand, the police inspector said he was happy that Arifa had converted to Islam.

Now Arifa and her family are on the run to save their lives since they have received death threats from Amjad. Amjad says that Arifa is a Muslim and his wife. For this reason she cannot run away from home, otherwise she will be killed along with her family. On the other hand Arifa states: "I am a Christian and have always remained steadfast in my Christian faith and continued to pray to Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary in my heart for liberation during these two years of imprisonment".

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