Abduction, Forced Conversion in Egypt: 'Because We Are Christians, We Are Slaughtered'

A report recently released showcases the dire circumstances that young Coptic Christians in Egypt face on a daily basis including abductions and forced conversions.

The report, "Tell My Mother I Miss Her," was presented during a hearing at the Helsinki Commission which was chaired by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) and was a follow up to a similar report released in 2009.

Commissioned by Christian Solidarity International (CSI) and produced by Michele Clark, adjunct professor at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, and Nadia Ghaly, a Coptic human rights advocate, the report highlights the real and growing threat to young Coptic women in Egypt.

"Unless the Copts and Coptic women and girls are protected … Egypt will not be strong, Egypt will not be stable, and Egypt will not be a successful democracy" Rep. Smith said during the hearing.

The findings added to a previous report by CSI published in 2009 entitled, "The Disappearance, Forced Conversions and Forced Marriages of Coptic Christian Women in Egypt," and aims to illicit action from government bodies and the international community who seem content on turning a blind eye to these continued human rights violations.

"The Egyptians' [government] are not particularly concerned with following up with this, they don't take complaints of disappearances seriously, they don't prosecute the cases and there has not been a single conviction of the abduction of forced conversion of Coptic Women," the report stated.

Another obstacle preventing action on behalf of those women abducted is the fact that the Coptic Church, in Egypt, has limited resources in addressing these growing cases of abuse, which makes combating the issue that much harder.

"The Coptic church itself does not have a cohesive support network or reformed policy for dealing with the issue internally," Clark told The Christian Post during an interview. "This is a systemic war of attrition against women who are part of a Christian minority."

The report details several cases of abductions and forced conversions. One such instance in the report, whose family was interviewed for the report, is listed only as case #6 and describes the abduction of a 23-year-old single woman.

The young women lived at home with her parents. According to the report on Feb. 4, 2011, the young woman was attending an evening church service with her mother. When the pair became separated, her mother tried frantically to find her but was told from a person on the street that a "microbus full of girls stopped and took her daughter."

The report adds that the father of the women abducted knows of other families who have had similar experiences and explained that "because we are Christians, we are slaughtered."