Christian Girls Being Snatched By Islamist Traffickers
The recent political developments in Egypt have put images of large clashes between crowds and security forces on the front pages. There are also other more subtle security issues that affect the everyday lives of Egypt’s Christian community. Kidnapping of Christian girls is a major issue of concern. According to some experts the number of abductions was as many 800 just last year. Most of these cases go unsolved and in many instances uninvestigated.
By Gary Lane
7/19/2013 Egypt (AINA) – The recent upheaval in Egypt once again brings to the forefront the plight of the country’s Christians who have come under increased attack from Islamists since the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.
Now they’re hoping and praying Egypt’s next government will do a better job of protecting them from attacks and the trafficking of Christian girls.
Funerals like the recent one at St. Mina Church in North Sinai have become all too familiar for Egyptian Christians. Friends and family recently paid final respects to Father Mina Aboud, a beloved Coptic priest. Islamist gunmen opened fire on Mina July 6 while he drove his car after shopping in the northern Sinai town of el Arish.
Father Mina’s murder was no surprise to Egypt’s Christians because they are frequent targets of attack during times of political instability. Christians have struggled for years–not only to protect their churches, homes and businesses, but also their daughters.
One of the challenges facing Christian families, particularly in Upper Egypt, is the kidnapping of young Christian girls. It generally happens when the girls enter their teen years.
To help avoid this tragedy, some families re-locate to Christian villages. But with that comes a whole new set of challenges.
Manel moved her family from a Muslim village to a Christian one near el Minya because she wanted to protect her oldest daughter Maryam from abduction and forced conversion. She made the decision after noticing some Muslim girls and boys attempting to lure Maryam away from her family and faith.
“The girls used to tell Maryam, ‘Come with us, we will give you a some money, you are having a hard life.’ The young boys were sending the young girls to do this,” Manel explained. “I feared they would kidnap her and then demand a lot of money to return her, or they would return her and she wouldn’t be in the same way as they took her.” Now residing as strangers in a new town, Manel’s husband has difficulty finding work.
But wait, there’s more!
In Dubai a Norwegian woman who was raped reported the crime to the police. Ooops.
A Norwegian woman who reported to police in Dubai that she’d been raped while on a business trip in the fast-growing Gulf city ended up being jailed herself. Her sentence is longer than her convicted rapist’s.
The 25-year-old’s trip to Dubai in March turned into a nightmare after she reported the rape and was jailed for having had sex outside of marriage and for drinking alcohol. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that her passport was seized and she wasn’t allowed to borrow a telephone for three days. Then she called her family in Norway.They mobilized the Foreign Ministry, and Norway’s consulate in Dubai managed to get her out of jail and housed at the local Norwegian Seamans Church, where she remained until her sentence recently was handed down: prison for one year and four months. Her attacker was sentenced to one year and one month, Anniken Meling of the Seamans Church told NRK.
St. Nunilo and Alodia, pray for us.