The “Arab Spring”, instead of bringing increased freedom for Christian girls in Egypt, has intensified the danger they are in. Over 500 have been abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and married to Muslim men against their will since the revolution of January 2011. A Christian NGO, the Association of Victims of Abduction and Enforced Disappearance (AVAED), has documented the numbers; it has said that Salafist sheiks are behind nearly all the abductions and are in collusion with the interior ministry.
Pray for all those who are being held captive and ask that they will be returned to their families. Pray particularly for 14-year-old Sarah Ishaq Abdelmalak from el-Dabaa, who disappeared on her way to school on 30 September 2012. AVAED’s founder has said that Sarah was abducted and smuggled over the border to Libya with the help of the interior ministry. Her kidnappers claim that Sarah left home, became a Muslim and married a Muslim man of her own free will. Pray for Sarah’s release and that the Lord will protect her from harm.
Give thanks that some cases do have happier endings, such as that of Agape Essam Girgis, who was returned to her family on 31 December 2012 after enduring eight days in captivity. Ask that the Lord will heal the mental scars caused by Agape’s traumatic ordeal.
Pray that the use of this abominable practice by Salafists will be stopped, and that the authorities will cease to collude with them and instead will protect vulnerable Christian girls from kidnap. Ask that the Lord will comfort the families of kidnapped girls in their distress, and bring peace to others who feel unable to send their daughters to school for fear that they will not be safe there.