Man Sexually Assaulted in Pakistan After Refusing to Convert to Islam
Lawyers in Pakistan are investigating a report that up to 30 men tortured and gang-raped a young Christian man for refusing to convert to Islam.
The victim is seriously injured and unable to move, Release International's partner in Pakistan has reported. However, according to the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) the police are keeping him locked up and have denied him medical treatment.
The police are also refusing to register the rape following a counter-claim made by his principal attacker - "a man of influence", Release International has told Christian Today.
According to CLAAS, the Christian was invited to a game of cricket. A quarrel broke out and he was beaten up. Later that evening, the father of one of the Muslims asked the Christian over to his house.
Joseph Francis, the National Director of CLAAS, explained: "When he entered the drawing room, he found it filled with unknown people. They began to beat him severely. They threatened him with dire consequences if he did not accept Islam. After his refusal, they committed sodomy with him one by one for the whole night."
Francis said that they later threw their victim out on the street unconscious.
CLAAS has visited the victim and his family. They believe the counter accusation that he stole money and a mobile phone is false. They say the charges were drawn up by the attacker, who has used his influence to put pressure on the authorities.
"We're deeply concerned about the growing number of attacks against Christians in Pakistan," says Release International's CEO Andy Dipper. "We are receiving reports of rape, abductions and forced conversion. Pakistan is becoming an increasingly difficult place for Christians to live.
"To make matters worse, the government is pushing through a law which could impose the death penalty for any Muslim man who converts to Christianity - and life imprisonment for any woman."
"As well as being an attack on the basic human rights of Muslims, this will also make things harder for Christians who preach the gospel," concluded Dipper.
Release International is appealing to Christians to pray for the victim and for the lawyers at CLAAS, who are dealing with a growing number of atrocities against Christians.