Friday, June 25, 2010

Christian Child Abducted, Forced into Bonded Labor in Pakistan

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Muslim landowner offers to remove chains from 11-year-old boy if he ’converts to Islam’
By Dan Wooding Founder of ASSIST Ministries

WAZIRABAD, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- Compass Direct News (CDN) is reporting the shocking story of an 11-year-old Christian boy from a Pakistani village who is “growing weak and ill” from malnutrition from working in “slave-like conditions” for a Muslim landowner who kidnapped him and is forcing him to work off his family’s debts, his mother told the news service.
According to CDN, Katherine Bibi said that landowner Ashraf Cheema of Dhonikay village, Wazirabad, has offered her son better conditions and possibly cancellation of the debt if he would “convert to Islam.”
CDN went on to report that young Danish Masih works without break from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m., often in iron chains, on half a loaf of bread per day. This was according to Dawood Masih of the National Commission of Justice and Peace.
The boy’s father and older brother had been working for Cheema to pay off a debt of 142,000 rupees (US$1,640), but their employer was “neither paying their monthly wages nor deducting the amounts from their debt,” said Emmanuel Berkat Gill of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance.
The story said, “Cheema also extorted land worth 35,000 rupees (US$404) from the boy’s older brother, again without deducting the amount from their debt, and ransacked the family’s house in Ali Naggar village, stealing Katherine Bibi’s dowry worth 200,000 rupees (US$2,308), she and Gill said.
“The family decided to flee to Islamabad, 102 miles away, Katherine Bibi said, but 18 months ago Cheema found them and abducted Danish Masih.”
Contacted by Compass, Cheema said that no such boy works at his farm or fields, and that “someone must have misled you.” Besides the court recognition of the abduction, however, Gill, and other credible sources, assert that Danish Masih works from dawn to dusk under a sizzling summer sun without any break or meal.
“At press time local Christian leaders had petitioned the deputy superintendent police of Wazirabad to recover Danish Masih,” the CDN story concluded.
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