Barnabas Aid - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Kidnap, forced conversion and marriage o...

Email:

Kidnap, forced conversion and marriage of Egyptian Christian women rising

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Kidnap, forced conversion and marriage of Egyptian Christian women rising

Country/Region: Egypt, Middle East and North Africa

A new report has found that the cases of Christian girls and women disappearing, being forcibly converted to Islam and married against their will in Egypt have escalated since the Arab Spring uprising.

forced-conversion-egypt-4x3.jpg

The report, Tell My Mother I Miss Her, released on 18 July, was co-authored by Nadia Ghaly, an Egyptian Christian human rights activist, and Michele Clark, a professor at George Washington University.

It found that the Christian community has “become more vulnerable to persecution on account of the upsurge of militant Islam following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak”, with women in particular at greater risk. The numbers of disappearances and abductions are rising, with fewer girls returning to their families; minors and mothers of young children are increasingly being targeted.

The title of the report was a direct quote from a victim made in a recorded phone conversation to her father after her abduction. “D” disappeared on 20 May 2011. Her mother reported the 19-year-old missing, and later that evening the police came to the family home and told them that D had married a Muslim man.

A month later, D managed to phone her father. Crying down the line, she asks him to tell her mother that she misses her before the teenager is interrupted by someone entering the room. The line goes dead, and when the father calls back, a man answers, saying:

She is unconscious now but let me tell you something, this girl is more important to me than anything else. I swear to God, if something happens to her, I will kill all of you and I will burn the church. You know that I can do that.

D has since phoned her father eight times, saying that she is abused and mistreated, and asking for help to escape. In desperation he told her to cut herself so that she would be taken to hospital, where her family might be able to see her. But a doctor was brought to the house, where she is imprisoned in a room, instead.

D’s case was one of 14 that human rights lawyer Stefanos Milad Stefanos brought before the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior in September 2011, requesting investigations, but there had been no follow-up by the time he met with the report’s authors.

Four lawyers reported over 550 cases asking for the restoration of Christian identity following disappearances, forced marriages and forced conversions over a five-year period, with cases escalating since 25 January 2011, when Arab Spring protests began.    

Tell My Mother I Miss Her follows a report written by the same authors in November 2009 called The Disappearance, Forced Conversions and Forced Marriages of Coptic Christian Women in Egypt. While that report comprehensively outlined the problem, cases are often disregarded by both the Egyptian authorities and the international community; detractors claim that the disappearances are “nothing more than petulant acts of young women seeking to leave oppressive home environments and that there is no criminal activity involved”.

The aim of the new report is to challenge the notion that the testimony of victims is made up of mere allegations, and calls for investigations and strong preventative measures.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Kidnap, forced conversion and marriage of Egyptian Christian women rising

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Heavenly Father, we pray for Kim Jung-Wook, a South Korean Christian who has been sentenced to hard labour for life in North Korea for “spying” and attempting to establish house churches in the country. We thank You that although prosecutors demanded the death penalty, this was commuted, but we pray that Jung-Wook will be sustained by You in his imprisonment and cruel treatment and will soon be released. We pray too for the dozens of North Koreans who were detained after Jung-Wook’s arrest in October on suspicion of helping him, and for the families of any who have already been executed. We pray for political change and religious freedom in North Korea, that it may be made legal to be a Christian and to take part in Christian activity. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 7 hours ago

    • Two Christian families in Uzbekistan who meet in a private home to read the Bible and pray together have been repeatedly fined and had property confiscated. Alisher Abdullayev and Veniamin Nemirov were originally fined in 2012 for unregistered religious activity and teaching religion “illegally”. They refused on principle to pay, claiming that they had not violated any laws. But earlier this year bailiffs went to their homes and confiscated a car, a mobile phone and household items. The men and their wives were then fined again, ten times the minimum monthly wage. Officers have also raided one of their meetings, filming and harassing those present and seizing religious literature. Pray that the authorities will stop targeting the families and that they will be left alone to study and pray in peace. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Leaders imprisoned for up to 60 days and members for up to 45 days; fines, corrective labour or community service: these are the penalties for taking part in religious gatherings in Kazakhstan held without state permission, according to a new criminal code. Those who finance unregistered religious activity will be liable to the same punishments as leaders. In addition, a new Code of Administrative Offences lays down a wide range of penalties for exercising the right to religious freedom. Both codes have been condemned by 119 Kazakh and international human rights groups and individuals. They further tighten controls on religious practice in a context where it is already much restricted. Pray for wisdom and courage for Christians in Kazakhstan as they seek to maintain their worship and witness. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that 55 Christians, almost all church leaders and converts from Islam, received Bible training at a three-day seminar in Kyrgyzstan that was supported by Barnabas Aid. The participants have virtually no access to Biblical training, and so the studies were a great boost to their faith and ministry. Meeting fellow church leaders, who are all dealing with similar issues, such as isolation and persecution from Muslim relatives and local Muslim communities, was also very encouraging to them and gave them the opportunity to build up a Christian support network. Pray that the Lord will continue to speak to them through the Bible passages they studied at the seminar, and that He will bless their ministries. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Christians and other minorities in Burma (Myanmar) are extremely concerned about a proposed religious conversion bill that will require people to seek permission from the authorities before changing religion. It is part of a package of four bills designed to “protect race and religion” in the Buddhist-majority country. The government says it is intended to prevent forced conversions. The draft says that forcing someone to convert would be punishable by a year in prison, while insulting another religion would be punishable by between one and two years in prison. Similar laws in force in several Indian states are used to threaten legitimate evangelism by Christians and as a pretext by Hindu militants to attack Christians, whom they falsely accuse of forcibly converting people. Pray this bill will not become law in Burma. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Sep 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Aid 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Aid is a registered trade mark