by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Seventeen Egyptian Coptic Christians went missing in Libya on September 30, and fears are rising that Islamic extremists may have kidnapped them in a repeat of the ISIS abductions and beheadings of 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya in 2015, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
Although it has not yet been confirmed who abducted them or for what reason, it is believed the Copts, who lived in an Egyptian neighborhood in Libya, could have been singled out for capture because of their Christian faith.
An Egyptian lawyer, whose friend is among those who have gone missing, told ICC it is particularly notable that the Copts lived surrounded by other foreigners, but they alone were taken: “The Copts were staying in the Gargash District in Tripoli. In this residency, they were surrounded by so many persons of other countries like India and Bangladesh. So the action of detaining 17 Copts only is such a mysterious action!”
“We are fearing of repeating an incident like the one who died by ISIS. We are contacting the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to intervene in the situation,” the lawyer said.
In a statement, ICC Regional Manager for the Middle East Claire Evans, said: “This is a frightening time for Egyptian Christians, regardless of whether their family or friends are among those missing. The memory of ISIS marching Coptic Christians down a Libyan beach to their deaths runs deep; it was an event that was traumatic for all of Egypt’s Christians, an event that held serious implications for everyone. We urge the relevant authorities to do everything possible to investigate the cause of this latest disappearance, to bring these men home alive, and the perpetrators to justice.”