(JNS.org) Egypt’s beleaguered Christian population has faced a spate of recent kidnappings.
Over the last two and a half years, more than 100 Egyptians, most of them Christian, have been kidnapped for ransom. In particular, since the wave of Islamist violence following the police crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in mid-August, there has been a sharp increase in kidnappings of Christians.
The majority of the kidnappings, 80, have occurred in the Minya Governorate in Upper Egypt, where Christians make up approximately 35 percent of the population. Absent police protection, local Christian leaders have taken the law into their own hands to prevent the violence.
“Even though some Muslims would say that the church shouldn’t have a role in politics and shouldn’t interfere in such matters because it’s not our role, the truth is that the state hasn’t carried out its role, and the church members are being harmed, and they’re pushing the church to take action,” Minya’s Coptic Christian Bishop Makarios told Christian Science Monitor.
According to Gatestone Institute, which issued its August monthly report on Middle East Christian persecution, Minya has been at the center of recent attacks on Egyptian Christians.
“Upper Egypt, especially Minya, which has a large Christian minority, was hit especially hard [since July], with at least 20 attacks on churches, Christian schools and orphanages,” the report said.