KARACHI: Hundreds of women and girls from Pakistan’s Christian community have been trafficked to China as brides in recent months as their country becomes a new marriage market for Chinese men.
Chinese and Pakistani brokers are aggressively seeking out girls, sometimes even cruising outside churches to ask for potential brides, and some pastors get payments to lure impoverished parents with promises of wealth in exchange for their daughters.
Parents receive several thousand dollars and are told that their new sons-in-law are wealthy Christian converts.
The grooms turn out to be neither.
Once in China, the girls – most often married against their will – can find themselves isolated in remote rural regions, vulnerable to abuse, unable to communicate and reliant on a translation app even for a glass of water.