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Contact lost with 17-year-old Christian woman arrested in Egypt

Communication has been lost with a Christian woman detained by Egyptian police as she was leaving a Cairo church at the end of August.

The young woman is a Christian convert from Islam, which she had successfully kept secret from her family for a number of years, with only an atheist relative knowing, according to International Christian Concern (ICC).

The 17-year-old had successfully applied to a university in Texas and was awarded the Presidential Scholarship, worth $22,000.00 per year, along with other smaller scholarships. She was working through the American Embassy in Cairo to plan her travel. 

According to ICC it is unclear why she was arrested but it happened as she was leaving the church to visit the American Embassy.

A partner shared with ICC, "They had taken everything from her, including any money she had. We had been in communication with her up until a few minutes before this. We waited and waited to hear from her, but there was no word. We did not know what to think or how to find her. Several hours later, we received messages from her on a phone borrowed from a fellow prisoner. We knew it was her because she said things only she would know. That is how we found out about her arrest."

"That is the last we know of her. We are terribly concerned for her safety now and in the future. Any help is greatly appreciated," continued the partner. 

An individual connected with the case shared, "Her phone is still off. So we have no idea where she is or if she is safe. Since I tried to FaceTime her to see that she was actually the one we were communicating with, and that she was physically okay, her phone has been off." 

Claire Evans, ICC's Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, "We are extremely worried for the welfare of this young woman, whose whole future stands ahead of her. An Egyptian prison is already a traumatic experience, particularly so for women and converts to Christianity. We urge the authorities to promptly release her so that she can step into that future which every human deserves a chance to pursue. A future full of opportunities to safely practice their faith in safety."

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