On December 23, 2012, 13-year-old Agape Essam Girgis from the village of Nahda, el-Ameriya, near Alexandria, went to school as usual.
Failing to return home, the family knew that she went out of school accompanied by the Muslim social worker Heba and two teachers, one of the them a Salafist, a member of a militant group of extremist Sunnis who believe themselves the only correct interpreters of the Koran and consider moderate Muslims to be infidels; seek to convert all Muslims and to insure that its own fundamentalist version of Islam will dominate the world.
According to Mary Abdelmassih of the Assyrian International News Agency (www.aina.org), "she stayed missing for nine days during which the family and sympathizers organized a sit-in in front of the renowned Alexandria Library."
The Coptic Church in Alexandria also organized a conference on December 30, 2012, on the abduction of Coptic girls, with focus on Agape, which was attended by journalists and the public.
"On December 31 state security contacted Bishop Pachomios and told him that they have the kidnapped girl. She was handed over to her family and the church priest where she stayed with his family for some time due to the terrible ordeal she experienced during her abduction," said Abdelmassih.
Bishop Pachomios said in an aired interview with Al Balad TV that what happened to Agape is "heart-breaking." He said that she went in a taxi with her school's social worker Heba and two men, and that she was drugged and awakened to find herself in a secluded place with an elderly woman. He said that after she returned home he spoke to her and she said that the Salafists tried to convert her to their brand of Islam.
Abdelmassih went on to say that activist Ramy Attia Zakaria, of the April 6 Liberal Movement in Alexandria, interviewed Agape upon her return and said it is now confirmed that her Muslim social worker Heba was behind the abduction.
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SOURCE: ASSIST News Service