By Michael Ireland, Senior Reporter, ASSIST News Service
(ANS – EGYPT/LIBYA, Jan.20, 2015) — Right now, the current situation for 20 Egyptian Christian men, and a 14-year-old Christian girl, who were abducted in Libya by Islamic State (IS) — also known as ISIS — terrorists, is extremely precarious, reports Jim Jacobson of Christian Freedom International (www.christianfreedom.org).
In an email update monitored by ANS, Jacobson says that according to a CFI co-worker in Egypt (for security reasons his name must remain anonymous), “Today ISIS declared that they kidnapped 20 Egyptian Christian workers by publishing new pictures of them on their website.”
In the update, Jacobson says CFI will not publish the link to the ISIS website that shows pictures of the Egyptian Christians. “Needless to say, the Christians are enduring torture and unspeakable abuse,” he writes.
Jacobson said: “The Egyptian Christians were employed as low paying migrant workers in nearby Libya. It is almost impossible for minority Christians to find work in Egypt, as they are highly persecuted and marginalized; as a result Christians take great risks to find employment anywhere they can.”
It is believed that the 20 Christian men are currently shackled together at the same, in an undisclosed location, he said.
Jacobson added the location of a 14-year-old Christian girl is unknown.
He continued: “Egyptian Christians who work in Libya are extremely vulnerable. Muslim extremism is on the increase in Libya and hatred of Christians is growing.
“Our CFI coworker believes that ISIS is going to execute (behead) the kidnapped Christian men very soon unless there is ‘divine intervention.’”
Jacobson explained the move by ISIS to publish the pictures on their website of the 20 Christians is seen as the last step before a mass, brutal execution.
“The kidnappings of the Christians took place at various times and locations, with little or no notice or attention by authorities or media,” he wrote.
He added:“According to our CFI co-worker, ‘On Saturday dawn, December 3, some armed masked Muslim militants belonging to Ansar Al-Sharia group stormed a housing building of Egyptian workers in Sirte, Libya, and abducted 13 Egyptian Christian workers at gunpoint; put them in their cars and took them to an unidentified place.’
“Our CFI coworker believes that ISIS is going to execute (behead) the kidnapped Christian men very soon unless there is ‘divine intervention’.”
Here are the names of the 13 Christians abducted on December 3, 2014:
Maged Shehata Solaiman, Abanoub Ayad Ateyya, Yousef Shukry Yunan, Hani Abdel Massih Saleeb, Kirrolos Boshra Fawzi, Milad Makeen Zaky, Makram Yousef Tawadros, Samuel Estafanous Kamel, Bishoy Estafanous Kamel, Mena Fayez Aziz, Malak Ibrahim Sinewt, Girgis Milad Sinewt, Bishoy Adel Khalaf. They are from the village of Awar belonging to Samalout Center in Minya Province in Upper Egypt.
Jacobson went on to add: “According to our coworker, ‘On Monday evening, November 29, in Sirte, Libya, some masked gunmen belonging to Ansar Al-Sharia group abducted at gunpoint seven Egyptian Christian workers while they were returning home from Libya to Minya, Egypt by a microbus. The Islamic militants stopped the microbus and captured the seven Christians.’”
Here are the names of the seven Christians abducted on November 29, 2014:
Samuel Wilson, Ezzat Boshra Nasseef, Luke Nagaty, Essam Badar Sameer, Malak Farag Ibrahim, Sameh Salah Farouk, and Gaber Munir Adly.
Christian Girl, 14 Abducted: May have been forced to convert to Islam and Marry a Muslim militant
In a separate incident, Jacobson reports that a young Christian Egyptian girl was abducted and may have been forced to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim militant.
Jacobson stated: “As reported by our CFI coworker in Cairo, ‘On Tuesday dawn, December 23, armed masked Islamic militants stormed a housing apartment of an Egyptian Christian family in Sirte, Libya, and shot dead Doctor Magdi Sobhi Tawfika and his wife Sahar Talat Rizk. The Muslim militants kidnapped the eldest daughter, Catherine Magdi Sobhi, who is just 14-years-old. The militants left alone two other siblings, 10-year-old Carla, and 9-year-old Carol, with the bodies of their murdered parents and fled.’”
He explained that Christians in Egypt do not feel safe and are extremely vulnerable to execution, persecution, and abduction by Muslim militants. The police provide no protection to Christians nor are there any prosecutions of those who would harm Christians in Egypt.
Life for Egyptian Christian migrant workers in Libya is even more dangerous, he said.
What You Can Do:
“This is an urgent call to prayer,” said Jacobson. “On January 19th, the families of the abducted workers staged a demonstration to protest that the Foreign Ministry in Egypt has done nothing about the abducted Christians.
“Tragically, by the time you read this, all the aforementioned abducted Christians may be dead. But please pray. Please pray for the release of the 20 Egyptian Christian men currently being held by ISIS militants in Libya. Pray for their families. Please pray for the safe return of Catherine Magdi Sobhi. Pray that she and her siblings will be reunited at a safe house in Egypt. Pray for God to change the hearts and minds of those who would harm and kill Christians in Egypt and Libya. Pray for the Persecuted Church in Egypt and Libya.”