Anika Shehzad, an 18-year-old Christian teen, worked as a domestic servant in Ferozwala, Pakistan. She comes from a poor family and took on the job to help support them. However, after a few days, Anika began to face pressure to convert to Islam. The more she resisted, the more the employers pressured her, until she could no longer work in the home.
When Anika informed the family that she would be leaving, they were infuriated. They beat her and later told Anika's family that she had stolen money. With the help of their pastor, she was taken for medical treatment. Anika's parents, concerned about the situation, approached her former employers. The Muslim family then turned against them and accused Anika's father of also stealing money and gold from them.
Christians in Pakistan are frequently illiterate and poor. Consequently, they are often forced to take risks such as sending their young daughters to work for wealthy Muslim families that are opposed to Christianity. In situations involving employers with militant mindsets, sexual harassment, torture, and other forms of abuse are not uncommon. For further information on the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, go to our country report.
Please pray that the Lord would watch over Anika and her family during this time of persecution. May they experience God's blessings and provisions as they continue to stand firm in the Christian faith despite the threats of their opposers. Also remember the many other young women who, like Anika, remain vulnerable to assaults on their well-being. May the Lord minister to them in special ways, so they can be testimonies through their steadfast endurance and faith. Additionally, pray that the presence of our Almighty God would be experienced by Pakistan's authorities, so that true justice will be upheld and protection granted for all who are vulnerable targets of such victimization.