19-Year-Old Catholic Christian Girl Sexually Exploited by Church Priest in Faisalabad Pakistan

Farrukh Saif

June 26, 2024

Catholic Priest Raped 19 years old Girl

Christian girls are often subjected to assault and exploitation in countries like Pakistan. Yesterday, our organization took up the case of a Catholic Christian girl , who is 19 years old and a student of ICS (Intermediate in Computer Science). She and her family live in a small village called Talundi in Faisalabad. Her father, Zulfiqar Bahadur, works as a laborer.

The Family’s Devotion and Trust:

The family is devotedly Catholic. They regularly attend church and are active members of the congregation. Like many others, this family holds the church and its priests in high regard. In countries like Pakistan, where Christians often live in poverty and lack education, respect for priests is paramount. This family, too, respected their church priest, Father Naveed Thomas, who frequently visited their home.

Father Naveed had bad intentions towards the girl , and the family was unaware of it. He offered to arrange for her education in the city, where she would have better opportunities and suggested she stay with the nuns in Chak Jhumra. Even though the school was only 20 minutes from her house, Naveed Thomas convinced her family to let her stay at St. Pius X parish.

Her parents agreed, believing their daughter would be safe in the parish. They had no objections to Naveed Thomas’s proposal. The poor family accepted Father Naveed Thomas’s offer, considering it a blessing for her future.

The Horrific Abuse:

On December 13, 2023, Father Naveed and Elvin Masih, a church elder, went to Zulfiqar Bahadur’s house and took her to Chak Jhumra. He first enrolled her in the education academy then took her to a room in the parish premises, where he raped her. He threatened to kill her if she told anyone and recorded videos of the assault, threatening to release them online if she spoke out.

This abuse continued for a month and a half until her became pregnant. Father Naveed then arranged for an abortion with the assistance of Nurse Zarina. It is deeply troubling that a priest, who is expected to adhere to Catholic teachings, would disregard the Church’s stance on abortion. According to Catholic doctrine, “human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.” Yet, this man not only dishonored the sanctity of the priesthood but also committed both sin and crime.

The Aftermath and Threats:

In February 2024, She escaped from Elder Elvin’s home after months of abuse when the priest and Elvin were away attending a wedding. Upon reaching her home, She told her family the entire story. The family and other notable people confronted Naveed Thomas, but instead of admitting his crime, he threatened to release the videos on social media and kill her brother, who was working in Islamabad.

Subsequently, Zulfiqar Bahadur and other parishioners reported everything to the bishop, resulting in Naveed Thomas’s suspension. The family was assured that the church would take legal action against Naveed Thomas, but no action was taken. After waiting for a long time, Zulfiqar Bahadur filed a complaint at the police station in June 2024, and an FIR was registered against Naveed Thomas and his accomplice.

Even after the FIR was registered, the police did not arrest Naveed Thomas or his accomplices. On June 25, Thomas and his accomplices obtained pre-arrest bail from the court. That night, the police investigator called Sada and her family to the station, where the rapist, Naveed Thomas, was also present. It is absurd that the police allowed the accused to sit and listen to Sada’s statement.

Our Organization’s Support and Call to Action:

Following the harrowing nightmare and subsequent threats, her family was under immense pressure to reconcile. The situation became so dire that they were forced to flee their village, leaving behind their home.

Recognizing the urgent need for protection and support, our organization, Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved (ECSPE), has stepped in to provide shelter for the family. We are currently housing them securely, away from potential harm and intimidation. Our team works tirelessly to ensure their physical safety, emotional well-being, and access to necessary resources during this challenging time.

Our legal team is working on quashing Naveed Thomas’s and others’ pre-arrest bail and ensuring that the culprit in the dress of the priesthood is accountable for his crime.

Co-Founder Of ECSPE Stated:

Farrukh Saif, the co-founder, and director of the Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved (ECSPE), stated that the Catholic Church must address these issues, where poor Christians, already deprived and discriminated against by the system, are often exploited by priests in Pakistan and elsewhere.

He emphasized the urgent need for the Church to take responsibility and implement measures to protect vulnerable individuals from such exploitation. According to Saif, the systemic discrimination faced by poor Christians makes them easy targets for those in positions of authority, and the Church must work to rectify this injustice and safeguard the dignity and rights of all its followers.

We urge you to stand with us for justice for her and keep her in your prayers.

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Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a courageous Christian human rights activist, established the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to confront religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His dedication to liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns and advocating for blasphemy victims and asylum seekers has garnered international acclaim. Despite encountering threats and fatwas, his impactful work persists in supporting marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, enhancing its global outreach.

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