07/06/2019 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – A Coptic Christian named Sarah Atef who was a fourth year university student disappeared on June 27th and remains missing. She is from Minya but is believed to have been kidnapped by a taxi driver while waiting in front of her university in Beni Suef.
She was planning to return home and had just finished her final college exam. Her school teacher told ICC that “This is a very pretty girl and well educated. The day before the kidnapping, she called her mother on the cell phone and told her that she would come back to Minya after the exam ended.”
Her family realized something was wrong when she didn’t return and both her cell phone and Facebook account were deactivated. Her father filed a police report on June 29th but no new information on her whereabouts has been discovered. Sarah did reportedly make a phone call to her family saying that she fell in love with a Muslim man and ran away with him. However, those close to the family say that Sarah is a very devout Christian and did not affirm Islam during the phone conversation.
“This is a trap for Christian girls,” said one of her teachers. “This girl is very religious and believes in Jesus. It is hard (for her) to convert to Islam.”
“When her mother knew that her daughter was kidnapped, she got out to the balcony and screamed to loudly. She was hitting her face. All of the neighbors got out of their houses to monitor,” said a family neighbor.
Islamic extremists use kidnappings to intimidate and control the Christian population in rural Egypt. Kidnapped girls are forced to convert and then marry a Muslim man. In some cases, the police have been known to facilitate the kidnapping. A local priest is working closely with the police in this matter in the hopes to speed her return back to her family.
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