Missing Coptic women: a new, old, recurrent, perennial headache

By Hal Meawad

Lately, there have been talks, news, and rumors about this old/new/perennial subject of disappeared/kidnapped/runaway Christian girls in Egypt. Usually, they reappear after a while as newlywed and converts to Islam.

Some of these girls did what they did with their own free will, while others coerced, deceived, or even kidnapped, by the likes of organized criminals, and forced very likely with some help from some corrupt law enforcement officials.

Through the confessions of repenting former gang members, we learned that during the term of Pres. Sadat, a well organized large gang, headed by a former top official and generously funded by rich Saudis and other Gulfers converted a lot of girls using various ways and techniques. Each victim has a different reward and price depending on her family's social status. 

It is amazing that very similar news also reaches us from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Is it just a weird coincidence?? Or other logical explanations are behind these similarities??

The ultimate goal was, and perhaps still is, to end once and for all the existence of Christianity in Egypt.

The repetition of similar news lately in different parts of the Country makes one think: are we facing another organized gang-style forced conversions like the one of Sadat's era?? Of course, I hope not.

I strongly believe in freedom of religion. If a person, on his or her own free will, wants to adopt or convert to a certain religion, it's no body else's business. Of course, that does apply only to natural persons and does not apply to legal entities such as states, and that's why I was in great disbelief when President Sadat converted Egypt. But if forcing or coercion is involved, it is totally unacceptable and the criminal law must be applied to the culprits and criminals. Thank God that Egypt is a land of laws.  

We plea to President Sissi and his Government to take a strong stand and investigate the numerous related complaints thoroughly. 

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