While some are aware that the Christians of war-torn Syria and Iraq are regularly abducted and held for large ransoms by Western-sponsored "freedom fighters," it is largely unknown in the West that the Christians of Egypt—which is not war-torn and has a stable government—are also prey to the same treatment. According to Al Moheet, a new human rights report indicates that there are dozens of cases of Muslim gangs abducting Christian Copts and holding them for ransom, in Nag Hammadi alone.
The human rights report adds that those who are sent to collect ransom monies from the Christian families are often known and connected to some of the larger families of Nag Hammadi, and some are even known to the police, who, as usual, look the other way. This is a familiar story. Earlier reports document the same travesties against Egypt's Christians, and in different regions, including villages near Alexandria, Minia, Asyut, and Sohag. Coptic Solidarity has several eye-opening reports, here, here, and here.
Meanwhile, a cursory search of the Internet in Arabic exposes any number of separate case reports of Copts being abducted and held for ransom. For instance, here is a Masr11 report from last month about how armed assailants abducted a young Christian doctor, a pediatrician, as he was going to his clinic, and demanded 100,000 Egyptian pounds from his family for his release. The report adds, "Gangs of armed kidnappers have become more active since the January 25 revolution."
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.