A congressional hearing and a new report by Christian Solidarity International highlights the abductions, forced marriages, and forced conversions to Islam of Christian girls in Egypt.
By John Jessup
7/19/2012 Egypt (CBN) – Coptic Christians make up the largest Christian community in the Middle East, which also makes them sitting targets for violence and discrimination.
As Egypt moves toward "democratic reforms," the situation is deteriorating for the Coptic church, especially Christian women.
Last year's protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square inspired hopes for freedom. But one year later, "freedom" seems even more distant for Egypt's Coptic Christians who've seen their churches burned and community abused.
"I kept asking myself, 'What if this man hadn't saved me. Where would I be now?'" a Coptic Christian going by the name "Ann" said at a hearing in Washington, Wednesday.
Ann is seeking asylum in the United States and recently testified to a congressional committee from behind a wall to conceal her identity and protect her family in Egypt.
She recounted how a man tried to kidnap her last year.
"I was screaming. I didn't know what he wanted. I had no idea why he was doing this," she recalled.
Ann managed to escape. But many victims aren't that fortunate.
According to a new Christian Solidarity International report, the number of disappearances and abductions among Coptic women is on the rise, all with the goal of converting the women to Islam.
"I don't care who's in the White House, Democrat or Republican. When women are being abused, when anybody's human rights are being abused, there just should be no partisanship," Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said.
Smith hosted the hearing in Washington to highlight the report -- titled "Tell My Mother I Miss Her" -- and pressure the U.S. government to do more.
"It's a war of attrition against the Christians, using the women as scapegoats," explained Michele Clark, a Chrisian Solidarity International board member and co-author of the report.