Over 550 Christian girls kidnapped in Egypt since 2011


By Mark Ellis

Nadia Makram
Nadia Makram

The world reacted in horror and revulsion at the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls in April. But twice as many Coptic Christian schoolgirls in Egypt have vanished slowly, one-by-one, in kidnappings that remain unsolved.

Since January, 2011 through March, 2014, over 550 Christian girls were kidnapped by Muslim men and forced to convert and marry their abductors, often after suffering violence at the hands of their kidnappers, according to the Association of Victims of Abduction and Forced Disappearance (AVAFD).

Often before these forced marriages, the traditional cross the Coptic minority tattooes on their wrists was erased with acid, according to Terrasanta, a Catholic news service.

The abductions have been going on for many years, with cases documented during Anwar Sadat’s government (1970-1981). After the fall of Hosni Mubarak, a dramatic surge began.

Sarah Abdelmalek was kidnapped at age 14 on her way to school
Sarah Abdelmalek was kidnapped at age 14 on her way to school

“Before the revolution five or six girls would disappear each month. Now the average is 15,” notes Ebram Louis, the founder of AVAFD in Egypt.

When girls and women are abducted from 14 to 40 years old, 40% are raped and subsequently forced to marry their captors after their conversion to Islam, according to AVAFD.

The organization says some of the victims are coerced by young Muslims, who first gain their trust, then force them to convert and marry.

Many who have studied this phenomenon believe there is an organized network behind the kidnappings. Some maintain there are Islamic cells dedicated exclusively to the abduction of Coptic Christian girls and young women.

Nadia Makram was kidnapped in 2011 at age 14. Nadia’s parents knew the name of her kidnapper — Ahmed Hammad, a 48-year old Muslim — and they quickly turned to the police for help. Sadly, the man was not arrested, because the police refused to get involved.

According to numerous episodes studied by AVAFD, the police often refuse to search for missing girls, claiming they ran away voluntarily from their parents’ home. Often, if the young girls are located, they are accompanied to the police station by their new Muslim “relatives”, who exert an intimidating presence during questioning. Often, under coercion the girls will say they voluntarily left the family home, according to Terrasanta.

While Egyptian law forbids the marriage and conversion of minors, the law was overlooked in Nadia’s case. Nadia was only fifteen when she gave birth to her first child, and Egyptian authorities closed the case with an acquittal of the husband. For the man, it was sufficient to show a marriage certificate attesting to the ‘legal’ union with his underage wife.


    • Betty, I agree with you that all should come safely home, but the comparison is valid in that right now the Nigerian girls are getting a lot of international press and attention while Egyptian girls are ignored. The situations are the same, the outrage different.

  1. Thanks for writing about such a tough set of circumstances, Mark! God bless you for making your readers aware of this very terrible and real plight for these precious young women. May your story drive all your readers to their knees, and beseech our Almighty God to bring justice on their kidnappers, physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional deliverance for these girls and their families, and salvation thru Faith in Christ alone to all who involved in such terrible things, including the girls, any children they have, their families, the kidnappers, the police, and anyone else. May Christ return swiftly so that we see Him set these wrong things right!

  2. I believe the girls from Nigeria were also Christian. Do you not see the agenda here?
    All girls should be safe but it appears christian girls are being targeted

  3. Let us pray please the agenda is to islamise every one let the Lord expose their agenda to the United Nations and act immdiatel. so i will Pray.

Comments are closed.