A Bradford man attacked and threatened after his family converted from Islam to Christianity was told by police to "stop being a crusader", a report revealed today.

Nissar Hussein, 43, claims an officer made the comment after he reported a threat to burn down his house if he did not repent and return to Islam.

The claims are made in a new report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) into the abuses suffered by apostates - those who convert from Islam to another religion.

West Yorkshire Police said they had worked with Mr Hussein to resolve the issues, including installing security equipment, providing advice and making arrests.

The No Place To Call Home report, by Ziya Meral, states apostates are "subject to gross and wide-ranging human rights abuses." Mr Meral interviewed 28 apostates, including Mr Hussein, who converted to Christianity with wife Qubra in 1996.

The report, launched today, describes how the Pakistani community in Bradford reacted to the family's conversion by shouting abuse and death threats, vandalising their house and car, attacking Mr Hussein and following his wife.

In October 2001, a young man threatened to burn down their house if Mr Hussein did not repent and return to Islam, the report claims.

Mr Hussein told CSW he reported this to police but was told such threats are rarely carried out and to "stop being a crusader and move".

A few days later, the couple and their five children, all aged under 10, were woken in the the night to find an unoccupied house next door on fire.

The attacks continued until July 2006, when they moved to another part of the city.

A police spokesman said: "Since August 18, 2001, we have investigated 11 crimes in which Mr Hussein was the complainant. Of those, five have been classed as hate crimes.

"We are satisfied we are doing everything that we can in respect of this matter."

Rashid Awan, President of the Pakistan Association of West Yorkshire, said: "I strongly condemn a community penalising a man because he has converted. If he wants to change religion, that's his choice. Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance."

Jim Dutt, the Bradford-based chairman of the Pakistan Asian Christian Association, said: "We have faced these problems in Pakistan for a while, but they are becoming more regular over here too."

Sher Azam, of Bradford Council for Mosques, said: "Islam teaches us respect, tolerance and understanding and we would urge all the people to live in peace together despite differences in race, religion or culture."