The world reacted in horror and revulsion at the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls in April. But twice as many Coptic Christian schoolgirls in Egypt have vanished slowly, one-by-one, in kidnappings that remain unsolved.
Since January, 2011 through March, 2014, over 550 Christian girls were kidnapped by Muslim men and forced to convert and marry their abductors, often after suffering violence at the hands of their kidnappers, according to the Association of Victims of Abduction and Forced Disappearance (AVAFD).
Often before these forced marriages, the traditional cross the Coptic minority tattooes on their wrists was erased with acid, according to Terrasanta, a Catholic news service.
The abductions have been going on for many years, with cases documented during Anwar Sadat’s government (1970-1981). After the fall of Hosni Mubarak, a dramatic surge began.
“Before the revolution five or six girls would disappear each month. Now the average is 15,” notes Ebram Louis, the founder of AVAFD in Egypt.
When girls and women are abducted from 14 to 40 years old, 40% are raped and subsequently forced to marry their captors after their conversion to Islam, according to AVAFD.
The organization says some of the victims are coerced by young Muslims, who first gain their trust, then force them to convert and marry.
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SOURCE: ASSIST News Service