12th October 2006
Coptic Orthodox Christian Church, Sydney Australia
Up to 10,000 Christians attempt to take to the streets of Cairo for the second day
Thousands of Coptic Christians have attempted to take to the streets of Cairo, but were stopped by the Clergy in fear of sectarian violence. This was in frustration over the sudden disappearance of teenage Christian girls by Islamists, the girls are later reported to be married to Muslim men who in most cases are twice their age.
In all of these cases the Egyptian Authorities and Police were aware of the location of those under 18 abducted girls – however they have been extremely negligent – by making promises which they do not keep, by forbidding the affected families to see or talk to their child, and by not bringing the kidnappers to justice. Not even one of the abductors has been brought to justice.
One of these victims was Laurance Wagih Amin , a 15 year old from Al Mahalla El Kubra, Egypt – who was kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists for the purpose of conversion to Islam, but fortunately escaped from her kidnappers and told of her story.
In July this year a young girl from El Fayoum, Egypt; Demiana Makram Hanna, suddenly disappeared, after much toil her family were informed that their daughter has declared her change of religion to Islam and that she has married Mouhamad Alsaid Zaky. As usual the family were refused access to their daughter – after two months of the incident, a relative of the husband approached Demiana’s family and demanded 20,000 Egyptian Pounds to release her to them – when the family accepted the offer they requested support from the church in El-Moukatam in the suburbia’s of Cairo, Egypt, as it was in close proximity to where the girl was supposed to be – the church sent four youth workers with them – not knowing that they were being setup, the group proceeded to the flat where they were being led, and within five minutes of arriving, they were overwhelmed by the interior security police – who have imprisoned all the men and accused them of a number of serious charges. After investigation in the matter by the local police – they were all freed, but were later all reimprisoned by the interior security police.
The incident has sparked anger amongst thousands of the youth in El-Moukatem for two days Friday 6th and Sunday 8th of October this year. It is reported that the situation is very tense in the region.
In recent times there has been a surge in the number of teenage Coptic Christian girls who have suddenly disappeared. In one of the cases in Fayoum, Egypt in August this year a young girl was kidnapped and the police refused the church and the family to contact the girl, but to the surprise of everyone they gave permission to a local Satellite TV channel to have a full interview with the girl and her senior husband. The interview caused extreme anxiety as it was clear that the girl was suffering of deeply disturbed emotions – not the expected joyful new wife attitude.
More and more the Copts in Egypt are being marginalised and their basic human rights are being threatened. Arabic footage of some of these incidents may be found in the freelance website: www.copts-united.com
For any other inquiries please contact any of the listed Sydney Coptic Media Officers:
Fr Gabriel Yassa: 0411 555195
Mr Peter Tadros, Secretary: 0411 344771