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Pakistan

Protesters demand justice for abducted Pakistani child bride

Catholic teenager Arzoo Raja joins a long list of girls forced to marry and convert to Islam

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Protesters demand justice for abducted Pakistani child bride

Christians protest against forced conversion of minority girls outside Karachi Press Club on Oct. 24. (Photo: UCA News)

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Christian protesters took to the streets in Pakistan following the abduction of a teenage Catholic girl in Karachi.

More than 300 people gathered last weekend to offer support for Arzoo Raja, who was kidnapped and forced to marry her neighbor in Railway Colony of St. Anthony’s Parish of the southern city in Sindh province.

Arzoo's mother, Rita Masih, said she and her husband were at work on Oct. 13 when they received a phone call from a close relative that Arzoo had gone missing. The family immediately filed a kidnapping complaint with the police.

However, on Oct. 15, the police summoned the family to the station where they were given marriage papers which claimed Arzoo was 18 and had willingly converted to Islam after marrying Ali Azhar, a 44-year-old Muslim. According to church and government documents, Arzoo is 13.

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