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02/13/2019 Egypt (International Christian Concern) –  According to Watani, an 18-year old Coptic Christian girl living just south of Luxor (Egypt) has been reported missing. She was last seen riding a tuk-tuk to visit relatives. Her family claim that a Muslim man from the village abducted her. A number of Copts gathered in front of the police station to protest the disappearance. The location of the alleged kidnapper is unknown.

Young Christian women in Egypt are often targeted for kidnapping and forced conversion to Islam. Sometimes, this targeting is done through smuggling rings which have close connections with, or even involvement from, the police. Unmarried older women, including widows, are often pressured to marry Muslim men in order to alleviate the resulting socio-economic pressures faced.

Most Christians in Egypt belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church. Egyptian Christians are viewed as second-class citizens, a viewpoint often reinforced by the government. In turn, this opens the door to Islamic extremism. Egyptian Christians have been heavily and violently targeted by these hardliners. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom rates Egypt as a Tier 2 Country of Concern.

For interviews with Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].