Christian girls and women are being snatched off the streets and from inside their homes in Egypt and forced to forced to marry Muslims against their will after converting to Islam, according to a report in the London Mirror.
International Christian Concern says Upper Egypt is “paralyzed” by the “monstrous actions” of radical Islamists and a surge in kidnappings in recent months. The missing girls later turn up in online videos claiming they chose to run away, but family members say they are being beaten and raped into submission.
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Mary Wahib, 18, was taken at gunpoint from her home by four masked men, according to the newspaper.
“I bear witness there is no god but Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is his messenger,” she is seen saying in a video later posted to Facebook.
Family members say police are doing nothing to stop the abductions and have provided little help in trying to determine the whereabouts of the victims. At least one Coptic Christian family held a demonstration outside police headquarters in a desperate attempt to get authorities to respond.
“We weep with the families who have lost daughters, sisters and wives and pray their loved ones be returned. These perpetrators cannot continue to enjoy impunity. We call on the Egyptian authorities to ensure that justice is served and that maximum effort be put forth to curtail this wave of terror,” said ICC in a statement.
Amal Shaky, 19, was reportedly snatched on her way to Cairo University. Police suggested the girl’s father had killed her, reported the Mirror.
“More than 40 days have passed since my daughter was kidnapped, and they say that the matter is under investigation. I don’t know how long I should wait. Wait until they tell me that my daughter is killed or got married,” said Shaky.
The advocacy group, Coalition of Coptic Egypt, reported 72 cases of kidnappings, extortion and related violence against the Copts in the province of Qena during the period from 2011 to 2014.
Egypt is the 22nd most dangerous country in the world for Christians, according to the Christian charity Open Doors U.K.