Friday, 27 May 2016

Marriam Mushtaq: A 24-year-old Pakistani Christian woman abducted and married off

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Please pray for Marriam. Each time I hear some of these stories, I cannot help but imagine if this is my daughter or sister. This is happening to Christians, especially in areas where they are persecuted by Muslim neighbors. In Nigeria, we have heard of Ese Oruru who was allegedly kidnapped in Bayelsa State and was taken to Kano. She gave birth to a baby girl yesterday. Another girl from Benue was also alleged to have been kidnapped and converted to Islam in Sokoto. These have all been rescued because of the campaign efforts of families, churches and civil societies. There are other stories of other girls here. The truth is that it has been a problem all along only that the Social Media has helped to publicly highlight the incidents. 

If we do not make effort to reach our unreached neighbors, especially the ones that are close to us, in the next few years, we may find ourselves dealing with these issues more frequently. Please pray for Marriam:

A 24-year-old Pakistani Christian woman was abducted on May 12th while walking with her 11-year-old brother. Marriam Mushtaq was suddenly snatched by four unidentified suspects in Bahar Colony, Lahore. For the past year, she had been studying adult education at Excel Educational Institution, and was on her way there with her brother Youhan at around 2 p.m. when a white car pulled up next to them. A man with his face covered got out and dragged Marriam inside the car before it sped off.

Yohan further explains that Marriam tried to escape from the abductors, but then one of them placed a piece of cloth over her mouth and she became unconscious. The alarmed young brother began shouting -- calling out for help. A few people gathered and boys on motorbikes started following the car; however, as it was speeding so fast, the perpetrators' vehicle hit a young girl who was crossing the road. (As a result of this accident, the hit-and-run victim is suffering from serious leg injuries.) The local boys followed the car on their motorbikes until it vanished out of sight.

Marriam's family visited the local police station to register a complaint, but the police initially did not respond. Only after the family and local Christians staged a protest, blocking the road for two hours, did the police agree to register an FIR against the unknown abductors.

Two days after Marriam's mother filed a complaint with the police, she received a phone call from officers who stated that her daughter had not been kidnapped, but was married. A 32-year-old man named Muhammed Ali, who Marriam's family claim is her kidnapper, attended the police station and presented a marriage certificate.

Members of the young woman's family believe she would never voluntarily marry a militant Muslim, stressing their concerns that she has been forced into marriage and is now being held against her will.

Please pray that Marriam will be safely reunited with her distressed family. During this unwarranted separation, may God provide each one of them needed comfort and encouragement, reassuring them of His strengthening presence. Also intercede for the young girl who was seriously injured by the getaway car, praying that she will know the Lord's presence, peace and healing in her life as well. May the convicting power of the Holy Spirit come upon the abductors, helping them to realize that wrongfully committed acts such as forceful marriage and conversion -- in addition to holding a person hostage -- is contrary to God's ways and will result in consequences...unless there is genuine repentance.

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