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[Today’s Prayer] UN Special Rapporteur: “Forced marriage and conversion of Pakistani women must be prevented”

UN Special Rapporteur: “Forced marriage and conversion of Pakistani women must be prevented”

UN human rights experts called on the 11th (local time) to revise the law for women and girls from religious minorities in Pakistan who are exposed to forced marriage and conversion.

According to Christian Today (CT), UN special rapporteurs said that in Pakistan, where 96% of the population is Muslim, the government should raise the legal age of marriage for girls to 18 to prevent exploitation.

“It can no longer be tolerated or justified that young women and girls from religious minority communities are exposed to egregious human rights violations and that those who commit these crimes go unpunished,” they said in a statement from Geneva.

“(In Pakistan), forced marriages and conversions of girls from religious minorities, including Christianity, have been approved by the courts, and religious laws are often used to justify keeping victims with their abductors rather than returning them to their parents,” he said. He also pointed out, “There are many cases where perpetrators avoid responsibility, with the police dismissing the crime under the pretext of a ‘love marriage.’”


According to Article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, rights and freedoms for children include gender, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, affiliation with ethnic minorities, property, birth or other status, etc. It must be guaranteed that people can enjoy it without being discriminated against for any reason.

Experts said, “Pakistani authorities should enact and strictly enforce laws that ensure that marriages take place only with the free and full consent of the spouses. Additionally, the minimum age for marriage must be 18, including for women. “Women and girls must be treated without discrimination, including those belonging to Christian and Hindu communities,” he said.

It also called for punishing perpetrators, strengthening existing legal protections against child marriage, early and forced marriage, kidnapping and trafficking of minority girls, and complying with countries' international human rights obligations.


According to a report published in November 2021 by the Parliamentary Group on Freedom of Religion and Belief, approximately 1,000 girls from other religions have been kidnapped and forcibly converted in Pakistan.

“A uniform marriage age across Pakistan and a sensitive judiciary will protect the rights and freedoms of girls across the country, especially those in vulnerable Christian communities,” said Tehmina Arora, Asia director of the International Union for Defending Liberty. He said.

“Every year in Pakistan, thousands of underage girls are forcibly converted and married by their kidnappers,” Arora said, adding, “No one should have to go through the horrors of kidnapping, forced marriage and forced conversion.”

Pakistan has faced global criticism for its government's failure to ensure protection for religious minorities as well as its unwillingness to criticize extremism. But this has not slowed the pace of repression against Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis, some of the most marginalized and persecuted groups in the country.

Pakistan ranked 7th in Open Door's ranking of countries with Christian persecution in 2024, the same as the previous year.

Look upon my distress and affliction and forgive me all my sins. Look upon my enemies, for they are many and they hate me sore. Guard my soul and save me; for in you I put my trust; do not let me be put to shame. (Psalm 25:18-20)

Lord, we hear news that there is still persecution of Christians in Pakistan and that women are living under Islamic law through forced marriage and conversion.

Good and just Lord, we pray that you will end the false law of Islam in Pakistan and save the Pakistani sisters who cannot be free because of it.

Please help the suffering souls of Pakistan to see the perfect love and grace of God, and visit everyone who asks, so that no one can fail to hear the word of the Lord.

May those who have prayed to false gods realize Your love, which is stronger than the power of death, and take God as their refuge amidst all suffering and persecution, so that they may be reborn as Your holy people.

So, may them become a Pakistani people who confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God and God as our Savior!


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