International Christian Concern, 28th August 2023
As a religious minority in Egypt, Christians face various pressures to convert to Islam. Women, and particularly Christian widows, face uniquely harsh pressures. When even one family member decides to convert to Islam from Christianity, that decision brings a communal shame to the whole Christian family, even in their own Christian community, family, and church.
One recent case of a Christian family highlights this shame in Egypt. The daughter, who is in her 20s, met and fell in love with a Muslim man in her workplace and a few months later disappeared, having apparently converted to Islam to be married to this man. As a result of the stigma attached to their daughter’s conversion, the father was forced from his job and a younger daughter had her engagement broken off since other families did not want to associate with a family whose daughter did such a thing as convert and elope with a Muslim man.
Egyptian Christians face daily challenges in their communities from the pressures of the majority society around them. ICC continually helps families facing these pressures to remain strong in their faith and to encourage those experiencing shame and stigma in their communities resulting from these types of incidents.