ASIA/PAKISTAN - Christian Teenager raped and murdered in Punjab

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - A teenage Christian Muqadas Kainat was raped by five men and brutally killed near the town of Sahiwal in Punjab. This is yet another incident of violence, which brings attention to the long trail of abuses suffered by children and young Christians in Pakistan (see Fides 24/08/2012). The incident happened on August 14, but has been reported to Fides Agency by local sources only now, on the eve of the hearing in Court for another case, that of Rimsha Masih, an 11-year-old Christian arrested for blasphemy. Muqadas Kainat, 15 years old, was the daughter of Rafique Masih, a humble Christian worker, employed in one of the brick kilns, scattered in the plains of Punjab. In the factory, belonging to the society, "Al-Ghani Bricks Company", in the Sahiwal area, Rafique Masih works with his wife and seven children, including the youngest, Muqadas. The family lives nearby. On August 14, the girl left home and no longer came back. Despite the family members research, she was not found. On August 15, a factory worker said he had received an anonymous phone call stating that the girl was in a nearby field. The police was alerted, the research led to the discovery of Muqadas Kainat’s body. An autopsy determined that the girl had been raped many times by at least five men and then strangled. A complaint against persons unknown (First Information Report) was registered, but "still no culprit has been arrested," says to Fides the Pastor and lawyer Mushtaq Gill, President of the NGO Christian LEAD ("Legal Evangelical Association Development") who is providing legal assistance to the family. The fear in the local Christian community, shocked by what happened, is that crime does not go unpunished. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 27/08/2012)