Monday, September 9, 2013

Egypt: Christians Killed for Ransom

Raymond Ibrahim September 2, 2013
Not only are the churches, monasteries, and institutions of Egypt's Christians under attack by the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters—nearly 100 now have been torched, destroyed, ransacked, etc.—but Christians themselves are under attack all throughout Egypt, with practically zero coverage in Western media.

Days ago, for example, Copts held a funeral for Wahid Jacob, a young Christian deacon who used to serve in St. John the Baptist Church, part of the Qusiya diocese in Asyut, Egypt. He was kidnapped on August 21 by "unknown persons" who demanded an exorbitant ransom from his impoverished family—1,200,000 Egyptian pounds (equivalent to $171,000 USD). Because his family could not raise the sum, he was executed—his body dumped in a field where it was later found. The priest who conducted his funeral service said that the youth's body bore signs of severe torture.

In fact, kidnapping young Christians and holding them for ransom has become increasingly common in Egypt. Last April, 10-year-old Sameh George, another deacon, or altar boy, at St. Abdul Masih ("Servant of Christ") Church in Minya, Egypt, was also abducted by "unknown persons" while on his way to church to participate in Holy Pascha prayers leading up to Orthodox Easter. His parents said that it was his custom to go to church and worship in the evening, but when he failed to return, and they began to panic, they received an anonymous phone call from the kidnappers, informing them that they had the Christian child in their possession, and would execute him unless they received 250,000 Egyptian pounds in ransom money.

If those in Egypt being kidnapped and sometimes killed for ransom money are not all deacons, they are almost always church-attending Christians. Last April, for example, another Coptic Christian boy, 12-year-old Abanoub Ashraf, was also kidnapped right in front of his church, St. Paul Church in Shubra al-Khayma district. His abductors, four men, put a knife to his throat, dragged him to their car, opened fire on the church, and then sped away. Later they called the boy's family demanding a large amount of money to ransom child's life.

The hate for these Christians—who are seen as no better than dogs—is such that sometimes after being paid their ransom, the Muslim abductors still slaughter them anyway. This was the fate of 6-year-old Cyril Joseph, who was kidnapped last May. In the words of the Arabic report, the boy's "family is in tatters after paying 30,000 pounds to the abductor, who still killed the innocent child and threw his body into the toilet of his home, where the body, swollen and moldy, was exhumed."

As for Christian girls, they are even more vulnerable than Christian boys and disappear with great frequency. As an International Christian Concern report puts it, "hundreds of Christian girls … have been abducted, forced to convert to Islam, and forced into marriage in Egypt. These incidents are often accompanied by acts of violence, including rape, beatings, and other forms of physical and mental abuse."

Thus, while it is good that the nonstop attacks on Egypt's churches have received some media attention, let us not forget the many, often young, Christian lives quietly being destroyed in Egypt, by those who would have the Muslim Brotherhood return to power.

Footnote – News You will not see in the international media

Since late March, almost 100 Syrians have arrived at two hospitals in Galilee. Forty-one severely wounded Syrians have been treated here at the Western Galilee Hospital, which has a new neurosurgical unit as well as pediatric intensive care facilities. Two of them have died, 28 have recovered and been transferred back to Syria, and 11 remain here.

An additional 52 Syrians have been taken to the Rebecca Sieff Hospital in the Galilee town of Safed. The latest, a 21-year-old man with gunshot and shrapnel wounds, arrived there on Saturday. A woman, 50, arrived Friday with a piece of shrapnel lodged in her heart and was sent to the Rambam hospital in the northern port city of Haifa for surgery.

Little has been revealed about how they get here, other than that the Israeli military runs the technical side of the operation. The doctors say all they know is that Syrian patients arrive by military ambulance and that the hospital calls the army to come pick them up when they are ready to go back to Syria.

The Israeli military, which also operates a field hospital and mobile medical teams along the Syrian frontier, has been reluctant to advertise these facilities, partly for fear of being inundated by more wounded Syrians than they could cope with.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said that “a number of Syrians have come to the fence along the border in the Golan Heights with various levels of injuries.” He added that the military has, “on a purely humanitarian basis, facilitated immediate medical assistance on the ground and in some cases has evacuated them for further treatment in Israeli hospitals.”

Now, efforts are under way to bring over relatives to help calm the unaccompanied children. When the 13-year-old arrived, she was in a state of fear and high anxiety, according to Dr. Zeev Zonis, the head of the pediatric intensive care unit here. “A large part of our treatment was to try to embrace her in a kind of virtual hug,” he said.

Days later, the girl’s aunt arrived from Syria. She began to care for the Syrian children here, living and sleeping with them in the intensive care unit. The staff and volunteers donated clothes and gifts. The aunt, her face framed by a tight hijab, said a shell had struck the supermarket in their village suddenly, after a week of quiet. A few days later, she said, an Arab man she did not know came to the village.

“He told us they had the girl,” she said. “They took me and on the way told me that she was in Israel. We got to the border. I saw soldiers. I was a little afraid.”
But she added that the hospital care had been good and that “the fear has passed totally.” She was reluctant to speak about the war back home, saying only, “I pray for peace and quiet.” Sitting up in bed in a pink Pooh Bear T-shirt, the niece, who was smiling, said she missed home. She and her aunt were expected to return to Syria later this week.

Asked what she will say when she goes back home, the aunt replied: “I won’t say that I was in Israel. It is forbidden to be here, and I am afraid of the reactions.” 

1 comment:

  1. How nice of Israel to assist people that do not recognize them as the legitamite rulers in Israel,just once they should pay attention to their own people and children that go hungry.In Egypt and other Moslem countries that do not have equality for all sexes but exspect the West to bow down to their ways,not letting Jews into certain of their countries but exspect to travel freely elsewhere,wakeup world and smell the coffee, not the oil.