Pak Christian couple converts to escape wrath

A Christian couple on the run in Pakistan have converted to Islam in exchange for protection against the woman`s family.

Last Updated: Nov 24, 2011, 17:12 PM IST

Lahore: A Christian couple on the run in Pakistan have converted to Islam in exchange for protection against the woman`s family who were outraged over their
elopement and marriage.

The couple, now named Ataur Rehman and Mariam Bibi, has been on the run since October 12 and the woman`s family had contacted the police, accusing the man of having kidnapped the woman and stealing 17.5 grams of gold and Rs 41,000 in cash, mThe Express Tribune daily reported here today.

The couple then met Rehman`s employer Muhammad Sarfaraz and told him of their predicament.

"Ataur Rehman told him he wanted to keep his wife with him (at the residence his employer had already provided him). Sarfaraz demanded that if they want to live there, they will have to convert to Islam," Rehman`s relative Allah Rakha was
quoted as saying by the daily.

The couple caved in, given the prospect of a better life and protection from police and Mariam`s family, it said.

However, despite admitting that Sarfaraz had made that demand, Rehman said he and his wife were not compelled to adopt Islam.

"We converted after consulting our relatives," he said.

"At that time, I saw Sarfaraz as my only hope as he offered me both a place to live and secure employment (in return for changing my religion). His proposal was sound so we decided to embrace Islam," the daily quoted him as saying.

PTI