Source: Associated Press
By KATHY GANNON and DAKE KANG
GUJRANWALA, Pakistan (AP) — Hundreds young women from Pakistan’s small Christian minority have been trafficked to China as brides in recent months as their impoverished community is targeted in an aggressive new marriage market, activists and officials say.
Brokers offer desperately poor parents thousands of dollars to give girls in marriage to Chinese men, even cruising outside churches for potential brides. They are helped by Christian pastors paid to preach to their congregations with promises of wealth in exchange for their daughters.
Once in China, the girls — most often married against their will — can find themselves isolated in rural regions, vulnerable to abuse, unable to communicate and reliant on a translation app even for a glass of water. Touted as wealthy Christian converts, the grooms often turn out to be neither, according to accounts from brides, their parents, an activist, pastors and government officials, speaking to The Associated Press.