An article published last month on The Christian Post website tells the story of Vivian Adel Youssef, a young Coptic Christian, recently married, who was kidnapped in Egypt. Her husband believes she is one of eight Coptic Christian women who have been kidnapped by Muslims with the intention of forcing them to convert to Islam and enter into marriages with Muslim men. These eight women are among many who have suffered the same fate over the years, since at least the 1970’s.
These kidnappings often take place with the complicity of the police. Even when not directly complicit, however, the police rarely take the kidnappings seriously. An article on the World Watch Monitor website reports the testimony of a man who was a former kidnapper. The women are kidnapped for money and destined to a life of physical abuse and humiliation. Again, the police are either complicit or complacent:
“In a story about the recurring issue of the kidnapping of Coptic girls and women in November 2014, World Watch Monitor quoted Egyptian Human Rights Activist Ebram Louis as saying that the position of Egyptian police is biased against Christians whose daughters have been kidnapped by Muslims. Police are notorious for not acting, he said, even if the girl has been missing for 24 hours and the family has been threatened for ransom, ‘because they are afraid of the militant groups’.
“‘They did not even follow up phone calls, identify identities of the callers or arrest perpetrators. The police have not helped the families of the kidnapped girls at all. Moreover, some police officers told the families not to search for their kidnapped daughters, as they converted to the right religion,’ Louis added.”
Coptic Christians have suffered greatly in Egypt in recent years, especially after the overthrow of the Mubarak government in 2011, including a gunman’s attack on a church near Cairo last December.
Jihadist propaganda by the Wafa Media Foundation, which is connected to the Islamic State, has called for violence against Egyptian Copts because of their refusal to submit to Islamic social and religious expectations.
The Catholic Near East Welfare Association assists Christians throughout the Middle East. Their website is: http://www.cnewa.org
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.