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Egypt: Coptic Christian Woman and 6-Year-Old Son Murdered

This story is illustrative of another aspect of the persecution of Christians in Egypt and elsewhere: despite the abundant evidence of this persecution that is reported on a near-daily basis, the persecution of Christians is under-reported. “Egyptian state-run media has warned society not to conclude that this incident is because of Maryam’s Coptic Christian identity, and that it was a robbery attempt which escalated into murder. However, the Egyptian authorities have an established record of silencing Christians and forcing them to not speak about the religious freedom components of their experiences.”

This is yet another form of the official harassment from authorities that we have seen around the world: officials who should be protecting Christian communities instead ignore their plight them or in some cases even menace them themselves. Thus the Christians have no recourse.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Egypt, see here.

“Coptic Christian Woman and 6-Year-Old Son Murdered,” International Christian Concern, April 9, 2021:

04/09/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on April 03, 2021, a Coptic Christian woman and her 6-year-old son were murdered by a tok-tok driver. The victim, Maryam Sa’ad, also had a 4-year-old daughter who escaped. The crime occurred in Minya Governorate and the name of the murderer is Abu Muhammad al-Harami.

Egyptian state-run media has warned society not to conclude that this incident is because of Maryam’s Coptic Christian identity, and that it was a robbery attempt which escalated into murder. However, the Egyptian authorities have an established record of silencing Christians and forcing them to not speak about the religious freedom components of their experiences.

It is worth noting that this incident occurred nearly a month after another Christian was murdered in the streets. In that incident, a Minya policeman stabbed and murdered Adel Lofti, who visited him to collect money loaned to him through Lofti’s organization.

Regarding these two crimes, a Christian human rights activist shared, “The real motive in the two crimes is the vulnerability of the victim, and the reassurance of not being punished, or at the most an understatement. Vulnerability may be the result of a difference in religion, the fact that the victim is a woman, poverty, or a combination of them. In this type of crime, religious discourse on the rights of Copts and women or courtesy meetings and denial of the reality alone cannot be the solution.”

In both cases, the motive of the perpetrator is unclear and will likely remain clouded. Independent investigations are not possible in the context of Egypt, whose constitution enshrines Islam as the basis for its legal system. However, the shared vulnerability of the victims is a clear indicator that something serious is amiss within Egypt.

Christian women and children in Egypt are particularly vulnerable. Media regularly stigmatizes women who do not wear a veil, making inflammatory comments such as “(a woman is) better than the one who is not veiled 100 thousand times” and that there is a “devil” in unveiled women. Since Christian women dress differently, they are easily identifiable in society.

As one Christian journalist woman published, “To be a woman in a country where most of her people see women as a disgrace, and at best look at her from a sexual point of view, it is a heavy burden, but even worse when you are a Christian woman. It is hell! To be a Coptic woman, you are under many grievances by society and church alike. Coptic women in Egypt face two dilemmas: gender as a female and religion as Christians.”…

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