Christianity Today Middle East Published Articles

Why Egypt’s Christian Families are Paying Ransom

Coptic Ransom

From my recent article at Christianity Today, published online on January 8, 2014, and in the Jan/Feb print edition:

In 2011, Nadia Makram, 13, was walking home from church near her working-class Cairo neighborhood when she vanished.

Her mother, Martha, went to the police, who refused to file a report. Soon after, Martha received a call demanding $15,000. She went back to the police, who registered a complaint but noted only Nadia’s disappearance.

When the police did nothing, Martha gathered money from family and friends and traveled to a village 65 miles south.

Martha met Nadia’s 48-year-old kidnapper in the home of the local mayor. After she handed over the money, the men showed her what they called a “marriage certificate.” Nadia, they said, had converted to Islam and married her abductor. Martha left empty-handed—an increasingly common story among Coptic Christians. Abductions have increased sharply in the past few months.

The article deals with grassroots efforts to uncover these cases, some of the details in paying ransoms, theological reflection from an Egyptian seminary professor who’s relative was a victim, and budding hopes that a new government ministry might partially solve this issue.

Please click here to read the rest of the article at Christianity Today. (photo credit: AP/Thomas Hartwell)

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