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ICC Note:

The kidnapping of Marilyn, a 16 year old Coptic girl, is an experience which is realized by hundreds of other young Christian women in Egypt. Islamists often kidnap Christian girls to convert them to Islam before marrying them off or selling them. On the rare cases that a demand for ransom surfaces, the price is well beyond the means of Egypt’s poor Christians. There are a number of horrifying stories detailing the experiences of girls who were kidnapped. Thankfully, Marilyn’s story was unique in that she was eventually reunited with her parents.

10/15/2017 Egypt (Newsmax) – On Oct. 5, World Watch Monitor reported, “A 16-year-old Coptic Christian girl kidnapped on 28 June to be ‘converted to Islam, then married off or sold,’ was released and returned to her family on 30 September after police found her and arrested her kidnappers in a city just outside Cairo. Marilyn is from a village several hundred kilometres south, in the governorate of Minya.”

Marilyn’s story is wonderful news. It vividly illustrates, however, the troubling report recently published by Clarion Project, documenting abductions, forced marriages, and conversions to Islam imposed on young Egyptian women.

It also provides a former Islamist kidnapper’s candid testimony, describing about how such crimes are carried out. “‘A group of kidnappers meets in a mosque to discuss potential victims,” he explains. “They keep a close eye on Christians’ houses and monitor everything that’s going on. On that basis, they weave a spider’s web around [the girls] . . . ‘”

The kidnapper portrays how the promise of romance is often used to entice the girls into trouble. A charming young Muslim man flatters and flirts with a Christian girl, telling her that he’s in love with her. He often promises to convert to Christianity.

The young girl is captivated. Her lover seductively reveals his spontaneous plan for them to run away together. She agrees. And that’s when she is captured.

This is precisely what happened to Marilyn — and to hundreds of other young women.

Eventually, the victim’s parents receive a terrifying phone call, or a letter demanding an impossible ransom, or — perhaps worst of all — the deadly, unbroken silence that follows the disappearance of a beloved child.

When the victim is delivered to a radical Islamist organization, her price-tag, payable to the kidnappers, can amount to as much as $3,000 — big money in cash-strapped countries like Egypt.

And although money is a common objective in the kidnapping racket, according to the Clarion Project’s source, radical Muslim captors have a “higher” aim: to strengthen Islam and weaken Christianity.

Mass kidnappings, such as the Boko Haram abductions in Nigeria, are widely reported. A story about the kidnappings of young Pakistani Christian girls recently appeared.

However, the ongoing nightmare in Egypt has gone virtually unnoticed. Parents fall silent. Authorities turn a blind eye. And religiously-motivated kidnappings are also extremely difficult to document.

Why? Too often the parents themselves don’t know precisely how their daughters were taken from them. The most common story is that the Christian girl has fallen in love with a young Muslim man, and the two have run away together. In the process, she has “chosen to convert.”

And if a demand for ransom arises, the parents — too often living hand-to-mouth — are helpless. Even if they seek intervention from local authorities, the police will likely prove unable or unwilling to help.

Thankfully, Marilyn’s parents had a different experience, and their case has proved to be a blessed exception. But the agony for countless others is far from over.

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