Young Teen Becomes Egypt’s Latest Kidnapping Victim

December 1, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia, Persecution

Sarah Ishaq Abdelmalek

Sarah Ishaq Abdelmalek

A 14-year-old girl in Egypt has been kidnapped and reportedly forced to marry her Muslim captor. Sarah Abdelmalek is the latest victim of a common practice of kidnapping Coptic Christian girls and forcing them to marry as part of a strategy to limit and intimidate the country’s Christian population.

Sarah was last seen entering a paper shop near her school in September. After Sarah’s father filed a missing persons report, he received a phone call telling him he would never see his daughter again.

A school friend of Sarah’s says the 27-year-old paper shop owner, a member of an extremist Sunni Muslim group called the Salafists, had been pursuing Sarah. About a month after she was reported missing, a Salafist organization issued a statement saying that Sarah converted to Islam freely and married a Muslim man. Even if Sarah wanted to marry voluntarily, under Egyptian law, she would have to wait until she turned 18.

A VOM worker states that at least 24 girls have been kidnapped recently, ranging in age from 14 to 21 years old.

Please pray for strength on behalf of Sarah’s family as they endure this heartbreaking separation. Also remember young Sarah, asking for the Lord to protect her spiritually, emotionally and physically. Throughout the ordeal, may she remain steadfast in her faith and eventually find her way safely back to her family. Let’s stand in agreement together that such incidences of kidnapping and forced marriages would entirely cease.

Earlier Christian teenager abducted

Christian teenager abducted in EgyptEarlier Amira Gamal Saber, a 16-year-old Egyptian Christian, was abducted in early December 2011 from Saft-el-Khamar village, Minya Province. The head of security in Minya confirmed her kidnapping but failed to act. A few weeks later, a man phoned Amira’s family demanding a ransom. The family travelled to Giza with the ransom money, but once they arrived they were directed to the police station and informed that government prosecutors were handling the case. In court, a prosecutor backed by 12 lawyers told Amira’s parents that their daughter wanted to convert to Islam. He ruled therefore, that Amira be sent to a state-run care facility in Giza until she turns 18 and may legally profess Islam for herself. Her father is appealing to the Attorney General.

Please pray the Lord will intervene in Amira’s situation too. Ask Him to give her and her family the strength to endure this current hardship. Pray for all believers in Egypt; may they keep their eyes on Jesus, persevere in their faith, and not grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 10:32-39; 12:1-3).

– vom

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