In August 2020, Aneeqa, an 18-year-old Christian housemaid, was reportedly beaten and abused by her Muslim employer after she refused to convert to Islam. The incident took place in the Eden Villas housing scheme, located in Lahore, Pakistan.
According to a post on Facebook, Aneeqa was hired as a domestic worker by a Muslim family in July as a domestic worker. Her salary was agreed to be 5,000 PKR per month, approximately $30.00.
However, after just one month on the job, Aneeqa’s employer asked her to convert to Islam. Aneeqa was asked to convert because she touched the family’s eating utensils in the kitchen as a part of her work.
Due to widespread religious discrimination, Christians in Pakistan are viewed as second-class citizens. Often associated with this second-class status is the idea that Christians are untouchable and dirty because of their religious identity. This discrimination often relegates Pakistan’s Christian population to the lowest rungs of society.
Aneeqa refused to convert to Islam and her employer reportedly beat her as a result. Following this interaction, Aneeqa’s employer would often beat her for minor issues and verbally abused her and her Christian faith.
Finally, Aneeqa was falsely accused of stealing gold and other valuables from her employer’s home. As a result, she was fired from her job. While working for her former employer, Aneeqa was not allowed to talk to her parents and her parents had to receive permission from her employer to visit her at the workplace.