You’re protecting young Christian women from kidnapping
In countries like Egypt, young Christian women are at great risk of being kidnapped and forced into marriage.
Currently, the kidnapping of Christian girls in Egypt is at an all-time high, as each year more girls are kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim man. One such girl is 16-year-old Marilyn who was kidnapped last year using what they call a “love” tactic.
According to an Egyptian man called G, who used to work for a network that targets Christian girls, “A group of kidnappers meets in a mosque to discuss potential victims. They keep a close eye on Christian houses and monitor everything that’s going on. On that basis, they weave a spider’s web around [the girls].”
Through this tactic, “A Muslim boy tells a Christian girl he loves her and wants to convert to Christianity for her. They start a romantic relationship until one day they decide to ‘escape’ together. What the girls don’t know is that they’re actually being kidnapped. Most of the time they’ll not marry their kidnapper but someone else,” he explained.
Marilyn was fortunate, as her family and church found out where she was being held, and they reported it to the police who then arrested her kidnappers and released Marilyn. Unfortunately for many other kidnapped girls, “It’s rare that a kidnapper would be arrested and the girl returned to her family,” said Priest S.
“One of the reasons so few girls return [home] is that the police aren’t very helpful,” he said. Plus, the police sometimes assist the kidnappers by providing them with seized drugs to give to the girls to weaken their resistance.
These kidnappings have created fear amongst the Christian community. Sadly, once they’re kidnapped and married off, “Some are sent to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf to work as domestic servants, and they’re exploited sexually and seriously abused,” said G.
Thankfully, church workers like M are coming alongside these young girls. With your support, Open Doors – in cooperation with local partners and churches – assists M to organise events that aim to make girls aware and less vulnerable.
“Social awareness about this issue is very important. I teach the girls about boundaries in relationships… I teach them about their value in Christ and help them to be in relationship with Him. If they have more self-esteem, they’ll be less vulnerable,” said M.
By helping church workers like M, you help ensure that young girls in Egypt are educated and equipped to deal with the tactics used by these kidnappers. Thank you!