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10/19/2020 (International Christian Concern) –  A twenty-year-old Coptic Christian woman who disappeared three weeks ago while traveling to her college in Upper Egypt has resurfaced in a video. She claims that she converted to Islam six years ago and left to be married to a Muslim man. Her father points out that there are contradictions in her statement and that he believes she is acting under duress.

Unfortunately, such stories are commonplace in Egypt. Christian women and girls, most of whom are Coptic Orthodox, stand out in society because they do not dress according to Islamic tradition. They are subsequently targeted by extremists who engage in human trafficking for religious purposes. The women or girls are kidnapped (either suddenly or after a period of grooming) forcibly converted to Islam, and then married to a Muslim man. This process completely isolates them from their families, and the police often do not provide any assistance in locating and returning the victims home. Should they return, they are often subjected to such shame that the details of the incident are never discussed.

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