Suzan went missing last week, as she walked to the church where she works in Egypt. Local Christians fear the 22-year-old has been kidnapped – just like two other young women who vanished from the same Cairo suburb just days before.
Women in Al Khosous, a mainly Christian town just outside Cairo, are said to be too frightened to leave their houses: a women’s meeting at Suzan’s church, which she attended, has been cancelled.
The suspected abductions follow an incident in which a Muslim was accidentally shot and killed during a dispute over money. A Christian man was taken into police custody and is expected to be charged with manslaughter.
Since then, there has been a sharp increase in attacks on Christians, especially women, in Al Khosous. But this persecution is nothing new: several local women have had acid thrown in their face, for not wearing veils.
Christians across Egypt remain under intense pressure. Extremists shot dead at least 29 Christians whom they pulled off a bus in Minya Province on 26 May. Church bombings in Tanta and Alexandria in April, and in Cairo in December, killed at least 68 people.
Sources: Release International, Morning Star News