Kidnappers target Christian children in Egypt

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

CAIRO, EGYPT (Worthy News)-- A 25-year-old Christian on his way home from Minya City last week was kidnapped at gunpoint and then held for ransom; it was the latest in a long list of Christian kidnappings in Upper Egypt, 125 miles south of Cairo, according to World News Group.

Unlike cosmopolitan Cairo, security is so lax in Upper Egypt that criminal gangs freely operate with impunity. This rampant lawlessness leaves Christians most vulnerable: during the past two years, there have been more than 150 reported kidnappings in Minya Province, all targeting Christians.

"Minya has probably the highest percentage of Christians in the country," said Todd Daniels, regional spokesman for International Christian Concern.

According to Daniels, 69 Christian kidnappings were reported in Minya province last year alone. In 61 cases, kidnappers managed to extort a ransom -- ranging from $7,000 to $500,000 -- in exchange for releasing their victims.

Of the 69 kidnappings, police were involved in only four cases, and of those four, one kidnapped victim was killed. As a result, Christians often don't report kidnappings to the police.

Responding to allegations that police don't aggressively investigate crimes against Christians, Minya's security chief, Ahmed Suleiman, said it's because victims' families would rather negotiate with the kidnappers than report them.

"We cannot be held responsible for kidnappings that are not reported to us," Suleiman told the AP.

Based on cases reported by ICC, the number of kidnappings remained unchanged from 2013. But now younger victims are being targeted more frequently, probably because kidnappers believe that families are more likely to ransom their children than their adults.