One Christian family is rejoicing to see the day they thought they never might see – the safe return of their 16-year-old daughter after she was kidnapped by Islamic extremists.
According to World Watch Monitor, Marilyn was kidnapped in June just outside Cairo by Islamic extremists and it is feared she would have been married or sold off against her will if the authorities had not tracked down her abductors and liberated her.
After her abduction, videos surfaced around the web in which Marilyn could be seen holding a Quran and saying she had converted to Islam. However, her mother Hanaa Aziz Shukralla Faraq, believed her daughter only made the statements under duress and her conversion was not genuine.
The kidnappers are now in police custody while Marilyn is back with her family, who are thanking God for answers to their prayers.
'We thank God for answering our prayers and the prayers of many other people,' said local priest, Fr. Boutros Khalaf, who is supporting the family.
'And we thank all the policemen in the police station that helped us so much in releasing our daughter, Marilyn. We appreciate their great efforts.'
Fr. Khalaf added that Marilyn had not been treated well by her abductors but that she was just 'very happy to be back with her family.'
In countries where radical Muslims have a stronghold, it is common for Christian girls to be kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim man. Many of the abducted girls are also raped.
Christians in Egypt have experienced an intensification of persecution in recent years, with a Coptic Orthodox priest stabbed to death in Cairo just last week.