CAIRO, Egypt -- Recent attacks against churches are driving thousands of Egyptian Christians to seek asylum in the West.
Many of them are women who fear they are targets for abduction, forced conversion, and forced marriage by Muslims.
CBN News traveled to Cairo to investigate the trafficking of young Egyptian Christian women.
The Abduction of Mary
Magda Kaiser, a Coptic Christian, is distraught over her missing daughter, Mary.
"She was our only daughter, so we spoiled her," she explained. "She got whatever she wanted, but she was very shy."
"We were close friends," Kaiser continued. "She never went anywhere without me. She always asked me to go with her because she was afraid of being alone, by herself."
Mary, an exceptional student, won mathematical achievement awards. At the age of 19, she entered university to study pharmacology. That's where she befriended a Muslim classmate.
One night when the two women went out together for pizza and a movie, Mary suddenly fell ill. Friends last saw her entering a taxi.
"We knew she was missing because she didn't come home that night," Kaiser said. "We believe her Muslim friend put drugs in her food and hired people who abduct young Christian girls to kidnap her."
A day later, police informed Mary's family they had located her not far from Cairo, in the town of Kerdasa. They said Mary had converted to Islam and had married a Muslim vendor.
Magda and her husband suspected foul play. They believed their daughter had become a victim of a vast, Islamic human trafficking network - one targeting young Christian women.
"All this was coordinated between the government, police, the Wahhabis, Salafis. Everyone was in on it," Kaiser said.
Officials summoned Mary to the police station where her father waited to see her.
"Four veiled ladies and four bearded men walked in to the police station, accompanied by two policemen with machine guns," Kaiser recalled.
"As they walked by, my husband screamed out our daughter's name, 'Mary!' As Mary turned around to acknowledge him, one of the bearded men pushed her away and punched her in the face," she said.
Overcome by rage, Mary's father demanded to talk to his daughter. The police refused and ordered him to leave.
They said they closed the case because Mary was now a Muslim.
The Kaiser home used to be one of much joy, laughter, and happiness. But five years after Mary's disappearance, her bed remains empty.
The emotional hurt still lingers. Her family said that she was a devout Christian - there's no way she would have willingly embraced Islam.
A Common Occurrence
Abduction cases like Mary's are now common place in Egypt.
A new study found the number of disappearances and abduction of Egyptian Christian girls is increasing. Kidnappings of underage females and mothers of young children are also on the rise. (Continue Reading.)
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Muslim Trafficking Networks Target Coptic Women
But the real problem, of course, is widespread Islamophobia.