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Abductions of Christian Girls in Egypt Escalating Under Islamist Rule

ICC Note: More than 500 Christian girls have been abducted in Egypt the past two years, with the majority of girls being between the ages of 12 – 14, the Christian Post reports.  "Abducting and converting Coptic girls to Islam is not only a result of the paranoid and racist incitation against the Copts, but it is an organized and pre-planned process by associations and organizations inside Egypt with domestic and Arab funding as the main role in seducing and luring Coptic girls is carried through cunning, deceit and enticement or through force if required," said Magdy Khalil, Director of the Middle East Freedom Forum.

By Myles Collier

4/17/2013 Egypt (Christian Post) – More than 500 Christian girls have been reported kidnapped in Egypt since the revolution began in January 2011, with the age of the girls kidnapped usually being between 12 and 14.

Some reports have indicated that they are being taken by Salafists, a conservative branch of Islam, who then forcibly convert them to Islam and marry them to Muslim men.

The documented cases of kidnappings has been compiled by the non-governmental Christian organization Association of Victims of Abduction and Enforced Disappearance (AVAED), which says that Salafist sheiks are behind nearly all of the abductions with the help of government officials.

"In every Egyptian province there is a Salafist association which handles the kidnapping of Christian girls. They have homes everywhere where they keep them. If we inform the police where the kidnapped girl is being kept, they inform the Salafists, who then move her away to another home and then we lose all trace of her," AVAED's founder Ebram Louis said in a statement.

A report published last year sheds light on the increasingly common abductions and forced conversions of Coptic Christians in Egypt in the wake of the uprisings that overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak early in 2011.

The report, entitled "Tell My Mother I Miss Her," was commissioned by Christian Solidarity International (CSI) and reveals with certainty that "Coptic women and girls are deceptively lured or abducted into forced marriages with Muslim men" while also being forced to renounce their faith and convert to Islam. These actions generally occur after the women are threatened or even physically abused.

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