Wednesday, August 24, 2011

But that's Pakistan, Not our Neighborhood...


A young Pakistani Catholic woman from Quetta, Pakistan is refusing to renounce Christ even after being forced to convert and marry a Muslim man who regularly drugged her and subjected her to mental and physical torture for two years.

Agenzia Fides is reporting that Alfred Arifa, 27, who was kidnapped by a Muslim man named Amjad in May 2009, was finally able to escape after two years of unimaginable suffering. Her story, which was told to Fides by the Pakistani Christians Association in Italy, is not unlike hundreds that routinely take place in this predominantly Muslim country where Christians are barely tolerated and treated as second-class citizens.

Arifa’s ordeal began two years ago when she went to the home of two trusted friends who had secretly aligned themselves to Amjad in the plot to kidnap her. She was given a cup of tea laced with drugs that caused her to fall unconscious.

When she awoke, she found herself in Amjad’s house. He told her she had converted to Islam and married him. Amjad even produced a phony marriage certificate. Arifa said it was impossible for her to have converted to Islam or married him because she was unconscious.

Amjad decided to overcome her resistance and began to mentally and physically torture her. She was constantly drugged, suffered severe beatings, and was locked in the man’s house for two years. She attempted to escape several times but was not successful.

On July 31, after another severe beating, she was shocked to find the front door of the house unlocked. Although seriously injured, she made her escape and took a rickshaw to the nearby Civil Hospital where she was treated for her wounds. She then went to her brother Adnan.

Arifa filed a complaint against Amjad but the police have so far done nothing to bring him to justice. Instead, the police inspector told Arifa how happy he was that she had converted to Islam.

Amjad has begun to send Arifa and her family death threats which has resulted in them being forced to flee for their lives. Because Amjad considers Arifa to be a Muslim and his wife, she and her entire family can be put to death if caught.

But Arifa is standing firm: “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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