Pakistan: Christian teenager kidnapped, raped, and forced to convert to Islam shares her testimony

Published 07 April 2016  |  

Komal, 15, was abducted from her home in Pakistan, raped and forced to convert from Christianity to Islam in June last year. She suffered unrelenting abuse and was forced to marry one of her rapists, who acted as her pimp and she fell pregnant. Throughout her captivity, she had faith that Jesus would be faithful and rescue her from the hell she was experiencing. In February, she managed to escape, and has since shared her story with International Christian Concern (ICC).

"I was sleeping along with my mother on a single bed during a power-cut time in my house yard," Komal told ICC, describing the evening she was abducted.

Reuters
Christians in Pakistan say they face persecution in the Muslim-majority country.

"At around midnight, five armed men with masks climbed over the boundary wall and entered into [our] house.

"The armed men brutally beat the entire family and threatened them [with] severe consequences if they shouted for help," she said.

"Then, the kidnappers dragged me from my mother's lap to their car in the street. My eyes and mouth were covered with a piece of cloth and they took me to [an] unknown place where five of them raped me in front of each other, taking turns."

Her kidnappers continued to abuse her during her six months in captivity.

"Burning my female parts with cigarettes was a routine exercise for them," she said. "Almost for two months they beat me every day for nothing and did not give [me] enough food to eat."

Komal was forced to legally change her religion from Christianity to Islam and marry one of her captors with forged documents claiming she was 18.

"After almost two months of inhuman treatment and humiliation, they took me to the courthouse and forced me to put my thumb impression on a document that declared me the wife of a Muslim," she said.

In Pakistan, a woman's husband has full legal custody of his wife.

"I did not want this to happen, however, I had no other option because they threatened to kill my parents if I did not obey. Therefore, they forcefully married me to a Muslim and converted me to Islam.

"Without my wish they changed my religion, my identity and even my name," she said.

"My new husband, who continued to rape me for the next two months, then moved to another city. This man already had two wives at his house."

Her new husband forced Komal to become a prostitute, which she described as "the worst agony of all":

"I felt like dying every day... I had become a forced prostitute. He even hired a watch-woman to keep an eye on me almost round the clock."

Throughout this, Komal said: "I had faith that Jesus would get me out of this hell."

In February, the opportunity to escape arose.

"Before sun rise, I managed to sneak away from the house to an urban area after walking about five hours. I begged for money from the people there to cover a bus fare and was able to reach my home after sunset on the same day.

"I am thankful for this mercy and the miracle of rejoining my parents now. I couldn't stop crying when I hugged my parents and family for the first time," she said.

"One can hardly imagine the painful situation which I and my parents experienced. It was like rising from the dead."

During her captivity, Komal became pregnant. "I am confused about what to do with my unborn baby. What will the future of my child be if I give birth to him or her?"

Komal's story is not unique – there are as many as 700 Christian women and girls, often between 12-25, who are abducted and forcibly converted to Islam each year, according to research by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace.

"I want justice, but do not want to put my parents in danger," Komal said.

"Those people are very rich and influential and therefore we cannot go into the legal process against them. I just want to be divorced and try to plan a happier life."

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