KARACHI“I am a Christian and I will always remain one,” silently vowed M* as the man holding a gun forced her to sign on a paper that declared her a Muslim. Months later, the 24-year-old escaped from the armed man, who had forcibly abducted her, converted her to his faith and married her. And yet, she was wrong to believe that her troubles were finally over. For victims of forced conversions and marriages, the problems hardly ever go away, even if they are lucky enough to return to their previous lives. Song of sorrow Clad in a black burqa, M glances around nervously as she recalls the tale of her abduction, forced conversion and wedding last year. A stranger, Yasin*, saw her at a bus stop in Clifton when she was going home from the dental clinic she worked at. For days, he stalked and harassed her and finally proposed to her. She refused and insulted him. TEST RUN
Progress report The 267 families affected by the Joseph Colony attack have confirmed that they have received the Rs500,000 compensation cheques while the Excise and Taxation Department is verifying the claims of damage to vehicles, states a progress report prepared by the district administration on March 27. A number of families had claimed that their rickshaws and motorcycles were set on fire by an angry mob during the arson attack on the houses a few weeks ago. The report, copies of which were sent to the commissioner and the Home Department, also states that 99 per cent of the families had been moved to their repaired houses. According to the report breakfast, lunch and dinner are still being served to the affected families by various NGOs under the supervision of a Ravi Town administration representative. Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2013. TEST RUN
Christianity is the second largest religious minority in Pakistan after Hinduism. The total number of Christians in Pakistan was estimated at 2.5 million in 2005, or 1.6% of the population. Of these, approximately half are Roman Catholic and half Protestant. Most Christians in Pakistan are descended from recent converts during British rule. RUN TEST
Several hundred Christians,along with Muslims themselves, have been persecuted under Pakistan's blasphemy laws, and death sentences have been handed out to at least a dozen. Pakistani law mandates that any "blasphemies" of the Koran are to be met with punishment. On July 28, 1994, Amnesty International urged Pakistan's Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto to change the law because it was being used to terrorize religious minorities. She tried but was unsuccessful. However, she modified the laws to make them more moderate. Her changes were reversed by the Nawaz Sharif administration. Some people accused of blasphemy have been killed in prison or shot dead in court, and even if pardoned, may remain in danger from imams in their local village. TURN RUN
Jesus said , People will descriminate you by my Name.