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Egypt: Kidnapped and Forcibly Converted, Coptic Woman Returns Home

Forced conversion of Christian women in Egypt is an ongoing problem, and reports of it continue to increase. Most of the victims and their families charge that Egyptian police frequently refuse to help the victims, and even side with the kidnappers. In this case we thank God that the victim was located and was able to return home.

Egypt’s small and courageous Greek Orthodox Christian community is as vulnerable to this persecution as are the rest of Egypt’s Christians. The ongoing mistreatment of Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Christians in Egypt is an issue of immense importance that nevertheless receives scant attention from the UN or international human rights organizations. Please pray that the Christian community in Egypt will be able to endure this martyrdom and experience a resurrection, and that relief will come to this courageous and long-suffering Christian community.

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

“Kidnapped and Forcibly Converted, Coptic Woman Returns Home,” International Christian Concern, April 20, 2022:

04/20/2022 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Coptic Christian Mariam Waheeb and her daughter were kidnapped April 5 in Beni Suef Province, Egypt. Authorities were able to reunite Waheeb and her daughter back with their family in the early hours of April 14. Waheeb works as a teacher and is a well-known and active Christian at Anba Antonious Church.

The two were kidnapped while traveling to a clinic. A social media post went viral several days after the kidnapping on April 13 where Waheeb announced her conversion to Islam. It was clear to many, however, including her husband Joseph Saad, that the video was done under pressure. In the video, Waheeb held a conversion certificate dated the day of her kidnapping. It is unlikely that, had it been a true instance of conversion, she could have traveled to al-Azhar and received the certificate the same day.

Saad commented on the video saying, “I’m fully aware of my wife and she speaks in a tone full of sadness and fear, which confirms that this video was filmed under pressure. If my wife was free to choose, they would allow us to meet her so that we can hear from her.” The video also captures the cries of someone in the background, identified to likely be their young daughter. Authorities were able to locate Mariam Waheeb and her daughter and bring them safely back home not long after the video….

Pope Tawadros II released several statements regarding the recent persecution against Christians in Egypt. He commented, “We hope to control cases of disappearances and kidnappings, which need transparency due to their sensitivity and negatively affect the cohesion and unity of the homeland, and the matter needs serious attention. Hopefully this will be the way in such cases.”

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