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Another underage Christian girl, who was abducted, converted and married a Muslim man in Pakistan

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Farah Shaheen, a 12-year-old girl, was allegedly abducted by 45-year-old Khizer Ahmad Ali, who forcibly converted to Islam and married her.

The incident took place on June 25 in Ahmedabad, Faisalabad but on September 19, 2020, the first Information Report (FIR) was lodged at the local police station, after a long delay.

Farah Shaheen’s brother Afzal Masih stated that Khizer Ali came with Muhammad Zahid, a man who owned tent services on the ground floor of his residence, and kidnapped Farah.

At her crying, Farah’s brother Afzal and her uncle Kashif reached there but the kidnappers dragged her in a car and fled. So far, the police have failed to provide justice to the family.

Farrukh Saif, the International Director of ECSPE, said kidnapping of young Christian and Hindu girls has become a daily occurrence. “We have been working on such cases since 2011 and it has been found that only registered cases have come to the notice of the public but most cases have not been registered due to pressure from Islamic scholars and the police,” he added When a complaint or parent goes to the police to register such incidents, the police treat them rudely and threaten them severely.

13-year-old Christian girl’s conversion and forced marriage in Pakistan

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Minorities in Pakistan are protesting for the conversion and marriage of underage girls. In that year alone, more than 20 young Christian girls converted to Islam and married an adult Muslim man.

A recent news on social media caused a stir in Pakistan when a 13-year-old girl Aarzoo Raja was converted to Islam and married off with a 44 years old male Syed Azhar Ali. According to the section 375 of the law of Pakistan, a 14-years girl is prohibited from sex acts even if consent was acquired.

Following the disappearance of the 13-year-old girl, her parents have filed a petition with the District South Judicial Magistrate, asking the court to direct the police to recover the girl and produce her in court. They also want her to be put into the custody of a child protection institute because they fear she is currently being subjected to sexual violence. The Judicial Magistrate rejected the petition.

Arezoo’s parents say that she is 13 years old and to prove it she has NADRA birth certificate, NADRA registration and baptism certificate.

According to NADRA, she was born on July 31, 2007. whereas her abductor claimed she was 18 years old and had converted to Islam to marry her. He is 44 years old.

An FIR was lodged by Arzoo’s father Raja Masih on October 13 after she was abducted from his house. Police later found out that she was married to Syed Ali Azhar, who had presented Nikkhanhama (marriage contract ), an independent affidavit and a certificate of Islam.

Her parents have also filed an application under Sindh Child Marriage Regulatory Rules, Rules 5, 8, 9 and 10 of 2016, Section 6 of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2013 and Code 100 of the Code of Conduct.

After the FIR Aarzoo Raja filed a protection petition in the High Court of Sindh , though her parents say she were forced to file a petition in the Sindh High Court on October 27.

The court restrained the police from making arrests in the case but did not stop the police from continuing the investigation.

Due to public pressure, the Sindh High Court sent the 13-year-old girl to a shelter home and ordered the police to arrest the kidnapper. In addition, the court had constituted a five-member board to determine the age of Arzoo Raja.

The court also found the birth certificate valid and said it appeared to be a case of child marriage.

Forced conversions of girls and women from minority backgrounds and forced marriages have caused serious concern in Pakistan. An estimated 1,000 – mostly Hindu and Christian girls are abducted, forcibly converted, and forcibly married each year.

Slaughter of Christians in Africa continues

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Hundreds of Christians have been slaughtered by Islamic terrorists in at least three African countries in recent weeks, CBN News reports. Christian communities in Nigeria, South Sudan, and Cameroon have been targeted by terrorists from different groups, including Boko Haram and Fulani militants.

The UK-based Barnabas Fund persecution aid agency reported that, last month alone, at least 121 Christians were murdered and thousands forced to leave their villages in the South Kaduna state of Nigeria. The slaughters were reported to have been carried out by Muslim Fulani herdsmen armed with machetes and knives in what has been a long-term campaign of violence. Barnabas said Christians in Kaduna have asked for prayers of peace in light of the “endemic,” relentless attacks, CBN News reported.

On August 2 in Cameroon, Boko Haram killed 18 Christians while they slept at a camp for displaced people. The camp building was also ransacked and several other people were wounded. The Barnabas Fund says Boko Haram terrorism against Christians has intensified in Far North Cameroon, which is close to the jihadist bases around Lake Chad and northeastern Nigeria, CBN News reports.

In South Sudan, 23 people were shot and killed by an unidentified gunman during an attack on an Anglican church in Jonglei State on July 27. “After killing people in the church, the gunmen went to the homestead village and killed people there,” Bishop Moses Anur Ayom told the Episcopal News Service. “The gunmen burned down the whole village in Makol Chuei.”

“I would like to appeal to the international community to intervene,” Ayom said. “As a church leader, I forgive the gunmen. The Bible says we have to forgive those who do wrong to us.”

Source: Worthy News

Lebanese Christians Suffering More Misery After Deadly Beirut Blast

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The Beirut blast that killed 160 people adds to the suffering of Christians who already face food shortages and social unrest due to the corona virus crisis, aid workers say. Their warnings came shortly before the government resigned Monday amid public outcry over the explosion, triggered by ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at the Beirut port.

Residents expressed anger over revelations that Lebanese officials knew for years that 2,750 tons of the highly explosive chemical were kept at the warehouse. Besides those killed, there were thousands injured and hundreds of thousands made homeless, according to Christian aid workers familiar with the situation.

Last week’s blast ”particularly affected East Beirut’s Christian neighborhoods, damaging churches, and Christian ministries, with many Christians amongst the injured, homeless and dead,” explained Christian aid group, Barnabas Fund, in a statement to Worthy News. “Many Christians are in desperate need following the explosion. Urgent needs are food, medicines, and accommodation.”

Complicating the situation for Christians is evidence that the blast “also destroyed the grain silos at the port, where most of the country’s supplies of wheat were stored,” Barnabas Fund added. “Bread is the staple food in Lebanon. Another terrible blow is the loss of huge stores of medicines,  housed near the place of the explosion.”

Barnabas Fund said it would send immediate aid to Christians through “existing project partners” in Lebanon. The group also appealed for donations and prayers for the needs of Lebanon’s troubled Christian community.

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“The world’s heart goes out to Lebanon, as this latest affliction falls on a country hosting 1.5 million refugees and plummeting into economic meltdown,” noted Barnabas Fund. It cited reports that some 20 percent of Lebanon’s 5.5 million people “are already malnourished.” And “as the injured and homeless are dispersed from Beirut across this small and fragile country, the tragedy in the capital is spreading to affect every part.”

France was among many nations providing or pledging aid to Lebanon, prompting French President Emmanuel Macron’s lightning visit to Beirut over the weekend. Confronted by a distraught woman in a sea of enraged residents, the French leader wearing a mask amid the coronavirus pandemic offered her a hug.

Touring the destruction, Macron saw fury toward the Lebanese leadership, widely blamed for corruption and neglect that critics claim allowed the blast to occur.

Reporters witnessed how a large crowd gathered around Macron chanting anti-government slogans. “You are sitting with warlords. They have been manipulating us for the past year,” shouted the woman, wearing a mask. Macron, also wearing a mask, assured her he understood her concerns. “I’m not here to help them. I’m here to help you,” he said.

The crowd cheered as moments later, Macron comforted the woman with a warm embrace. France once governed Lebanon as a protectorate and maintains a close relationship with the tiny Middle Eastern nation.

Source ; Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News 

Five aid workers killed by extremist groups in northeast Nigeria

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In recent years alone, hundreds of innocent Nigerians have been killed and thousands displaced, and the Nigerian government has failed miserably to protect its citizens.

According to the worthy news, Islamic militants in northeast Nigeria have murdered four aid workers and a security guard after abducting them while they worked for the International Rescue Committee and Action Against Hunger, Reuters reported last week. In a video released by the militants last month, those who died were first shown alive and then shot dead on camera.

The killing of the aid workers comes as human rights organizations and a British parliamentary group continue to raise the alarm about escalating violence committed by Nigerian Islamic extremists against civilians, and Christians in particular. Earlier this month it was reported that over 8,370 Christian Nigerians have been murdered by Boko Haram.

Reuters reports that aid workers are increasingly at risk in northeast Nigeria, where Boko Haram operates. In the video released by the terrorists, the hostages are shown wearing red blindfolds and kneeling in a row. A militant then says to them: “You that are working for infidel organizations, you are working to deliver their mandate but they do not care about your plight. This is why whenever we abduct you, those organizations do not show any form of concern.”

After saying this, the terrorist and four others wearing balaclavas shot and killed the hostages.

Reporting on the alarming rate of killings in Nigeria, Forbes wrote last month: “The international community cannot be blind to the reports of atrocities and must ask important questions. How will the Nigerian Government explain the mass killings in Nigeria as recorded by several international organizations? What is the Nigerian Government doing to ensure that the acts are investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted?” These questions remain to be answered.

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