Jul 19 2012
I’ve posted many stories about the persecution and killing of Christians as well as the destruction of countless churches in Africa and the Middle East. But another popular tactic for eliminating the Christian population is forced conversions, mostly women and girls, but men as well. Following the Arab Spring and the rise of the radical Islamists, the rate of abductions and forced conversions is rising rapidly in Egypt, and now Gaza, too.
Christian Post “Abducting and converting Coptic girls to Islam is not only a result of the paranoid and racist incitation against the Copts, but it is an organized and pre-planned process by associations and organizations inside Egypt with domestic and Arab funding as the main role in seducing and luring Coptic girls is carried through cunning, deceit and enticement or through force if required,” according to Magdy Khalil of the Middle East Freedom Forum
A report recently published describes the growing concern surrounding the increasingly common abductions and forced conversions of Coptic Christians in Egypt in the wake of the uprisings that overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak early in 2011.
The report, entitled “Tell My Mother I Miss Her,” was commissioned by Christian Solidarity International (CSI) and reveals with certainty that “Coptic women and girls are deceptively lured or abducted into forced marriages with Muslim men” while also being forced to renounce their faith and convert to Islam. These actions generally occur after the women are threatened or even physically abused.
The findings added to a previous report by CSI published in 2009 entitled, “The Disappearance, Forced Conversions and Forced Marriages of Coptic Christian Women in Egypt,” and aims to illicit action from government bodies and the international community.
Christians in Gaza protest abductions and forced conversions by Muslims.
Fox News (H/T SusanK & Liz) Dozens of Gaza Christians staged a rare public protest Monday, claiming two congregants were forcibly converted to Islam and were being held against their will.
Gaza police say the two are staying with a Muslim religious official at their request, because they fear retribution from their families converting to Islam. Two mediators said the two — a 25-year-old man and a woman with three children — appeared to have embraced Islam of their free will. Forced conversions have been unheard of in Gaza before.
Since the Islamic militant Hamas seized power five years ago, Christians have felt increasingly embattled, but have mostly kept silent. There are growing fears among Gaza Christians that their rapidly shrinking community could disappear through emigration and conversions.
Their numbers appear to have shrunk from some 3,500 to about 1,500 in recent years, according to community estimates. They are a tiny minority among 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza, most conservative Muslims.
“If things remain like this, there’ll be no Christians left in Gaza,” said Huda Al-Amash, mother of one of the converts, Ramez, 25. She sat sobbing in a church hallway alongside her daughters, Ranin and Rinad, and a dozen other women. “Today it’s Ramez. Then who, and who will be next?”