Victim of Faith

A Christian girl forced to embrace Islam and get marry to an Islamic Cleric

Ambreen Merry approached Christians’ True Spirit (CTS) and requested for life protection. On 28 October 2015, Ambreen Merry approached CTS office along with her maternal uncle Yousaf Chaudhry, and requested for the safe accommodation of Ambreen Merry at CTS sanctuary house.

Ambreen Merry d/o Elvin Dass aged 26, lived in Lahore Cantt along with her parents and a younger brother Sarosh Elvin. Her elder brother Asfand Yar Elvin was settled in Paris along with his family and her sister Zile Huma settled in Australia with family. According to facts Ambreen Merry was forced to embrace Islam and forced to get marry to a Muslim Cleric.

Ambreen Merry belonged to a well settled Christian family who used to live in UK in 2005 – 2008. The family returned to Pakistan on January 08, 2008, and was not interested to go back to UK anymore.

In 2010 Ambreen noticed changed and ruder behavior of her father towards her mother; she found that her father embraced Islam. Her father must be pressurized by the Muslims to embrace Islam she added. He was always harsh as he was in depression but never shared with the family.  Ambreen was forced to wear Hijab and veil on head like Muslim girls. Her father started to force her and other family members to embrace Islam otherwise he will kill them all on the name of Islam. On June 11, 2010 the whole family including Ambreen forced to accept Islam as their official religion.

During the fact finding of the case the locals informed CTS team that even after formally conversion the family was not willing to practice Islam therefore in October 2015 Ambreen’s father arranged a Muslim cleric named Mohammad Abdul Majeed from the local Mosque to teach them Quran at home. Soon later the cleric got interested to get married to Ambreen. It was socking for Ambreen, she showed unwillingness to this proposal. The other hand the cleric had already three wives and several children, and forth marriage was acceptable by the Quran and Sunna. Ambreen’s father decided her marriage with the Cleric even she refused. She protested against the cruel and inhuman decision of her father, on which her father as well as the cleric become violent to her and beat her severely with a wooden rode; Ambreen got injured due to severe beating. The Cleric threatened her for severe consequences if she refused him for marriage. He also threatened to implicate her in blasphemy accusations and kill her, if she tried to escape. According to Ambreen the cleric was anxious and banned her and other family to keep in contact with friends and relatives just to keep the matter confidential.

On October 28, 2015 Ambreen went to the market to buy some basic commodities. On the way she heard a man quarreling to a vender of fresh Juice. The vender refused to use his glass to serve juice to a Christian man. When she looked at the Christian man she was surprised as he was her uncle Yousaf Masih. Ambreen asked her uncle to keep silent, because Christians are weak. Ambreen started weeping and crying; she informed her uncle about hostility she faced by her father as she is forced to convert and get married to a Muslim cleric. Uncle suggested Ambreen to raise her voice against violence and took her to the Police Station North Cantt (Lahore Cantt) to lodge a complaint against her father and Muslim cleric. She faced impolite behavior of the police as they were not ready to file any complain against Mohammad Abdul Majeed (Muslim cleric).

Ambreen’s uncle suggested her to ask help of an NGO in this regard and informed her about Christians’ True Spirit (CTS) a non-government, nonprofit Christian organization in Pakistan that especially works for empowerment of young girls and women from the minority’s communities, and provides safe accommodation and shelter to the women in need.

The same evening on October 28, 2015 Ambreen came to CTS office along with her uncle Yousaf Masih and requested for the safe accommodation. She shared the whole story with Ms. Katherine Sapna Director CTS and showed worries about her security as she was not willing to get married in any case to a Muslim man Mohammad Abdul Majeed. She was also afraid of getting involved in to the false blasphemy case by the Muslim Cleric.

CTS team assured Ambreen to provide protection at its sanctuary house for a limited period.