Authorities in Egypt are starving two children, ages 2 and 4, to force their mother to abandon Christianity and return to Islam, according to reports from several ministry organizations.

The Egypt for Christ Ministry is reporting the woman, who converted to Christianity about five years ago and was arrested as she tried to leave her home country just days ago, also has been sexually assaulted by police officers.

The woman, identified by the ministry as Martha Samuel, also has been beaten and tortured in effort to force her to return to Islam, with police promises for her release if she accepts, according to the reports.

The Assyrian International News Agency said Samuel was arrested last week as she, her husband and two sons were trying to leave Cairo for Russia after her name was placed on a list of people barred from leaving Egypt.

Then reports came today of the assaults. AINA said she was subjected to attacks by Egyptian police at El-Nozha police station as well as at the National Security office in Heliopolis.

“The children are not being provided with food deliberately to pressure their mother to return to Islam,” AINA reported.

Her husband, Fadl Thabet, also was in custody.

The report said Samuel formerly was known as Zainab Said Abdel-Aziz, and her family was fleeing continuous persecution by her own family and Egyptian police officers.

She faces charges of forging official documents and changing her details after converting from Islam to Christianity and changing her name, officials said.

AINA reported Naguib Gibraeel, chief of the Egyptian Union Human Rights Organization, said he was lodging a complaint over the allegations of abuse at the hands of police.

At Jihad Watch, Robert Spence noted he’s been criticized for “not acknowledging Egypt as a ‘moderate Muslim country.'”

On his forum, a contributor wrote, “The whole country of Egypt must be misunderstanders of Islam! Don’t they know that there is no compulsion of religion?”


Egypt is one of the nations where Islamic Shariah law is formally recognized as the source of justice, and Christians have faced persecution there for generations.

The American Center for Law and Justice has participated in a fight to keep one man who fled Egypt from being deported. A recent decision from the 3rd U.S. District Court of Appeals gave Sameh Khouzam the right to challenge Egypt’s “diplomatic assurances” that he would not be tortured on his return to the Middle East nation.

Egypt has been demanding his extradition in a homicide case he alleges is trumped-up. The case has been highlighted by spokesman Sam Grace of Coptic News. He praised U.S. District Judge Thomas Vanaskie’s earlier ruling that Khouzam “most assuredly has a right not to be tortured.”

Grace earlier told WND Christians in Egypt are hostages.

“We live in a time that is really as bad if not worse than the time of the martyrs,” he said as the case progressed. Multitudes of Christians have been attacked, and many killed, yet not one Muslim ever has been convicted in the attacks, he said..

“The why is very simple, because Shariah law says the blood of the Muslim should not be shed for the blood of an unbeliever,” he said.

Grace said since Egypt’s constitution concludes laws derive from the Quran, persecution of Christians is not only allowed but endorsed by the government.

“In the last 10 years, more than 5,000 Christians have been massacred in Egypt,” he told WND. “Hundreds of businesses and homes first have been looted, then burned and destroyed. Churches have been burned and destroyed.”

Grace told WND that attacks, lootings and burnings are common in Egypt on Fridays, after the local imam preaches violence against Christians at his mosque.

“The life of a Christian in Egypt is now worth zero. Every Muslim now knows killing a Christian [is not prosecuted],” he said.

A report from the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights concluded Coptic Christians in Egypt have been harassed, tortured and killed by Muslims for 1,400 years.

“They have been subjected to all kinds of hate crimes including, the abduction of young Coptic girls, the killing of Coptic women and children and the destruction of their places of worship,” the report concluded.


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