Four-year-old Cristina, along with her mother and 13-year-old brother, quickly walked up the steep trail. Lagging behind them, they urged her to move faster as they did not want to be late for church. In a matter of minutes her world would be turned upside-down.
Constructed of corrugated tin, the walls and roof of the small structure shone brightly beneath the suns powerful rays. Huddled together on the floor, sat Anamikas six students eagerly waiting for their reading lessons to begin. But this day would be different; today they also had visitors who had come to hear how this young girl, a former Muslim, had come to Christ.
Healing Women's Double Trauma
Every Christian Egyptian woman lives with double trauma: she is both female and a Christian. This places her near the bottom of the unspoken, but widely acknowledged, hierarchy of Egyptian society. Muslim men hold the highest place having both the dominant faith and gender. Muslim women, although female, hold the second place because of their adherence to Islam. Third are Christian men, though disadvantaged because of their faith, their gender secures a higher place than Christian women. Christian women find themselves last in the social order.
Christian mother of three 'abducted and forced into Islamic marriage'
A Christian mother of three has been kidnapped and forced into an Islamic marriage in Pakistan, campaigners say.
Fouzia Sadiq was abducted from the field where she worked as a bonded labourer on July 23. Her family say that she was taken by her Muslim landlord - Muhammed Nazir - who's brother promised at the time that Sadiq would be returned shortly.
However, after returning for their daughter on July 24, they were told that Sadiq had converted to Islam and was now the property of Nazir, whom she had married.
An officer for the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), has met the family and they will now be moved to a safe house. They say police are refusing to register the incident.
"My sister has been missing for five days and police are refusing to register an FIR [First Incident Report], my heart is broken," Sadiq's sister, Iqra, said.
"Our landlord is a cruel man and we have been starving since he stopped the little payment that was due to us. We have no power and have to face such injustice."
According to the BPCA, incidents of abduction, forced marriage and forced conversion are commonplace. A report from the Karachi-based Aurat Foundation released late last year claimed that between 100 and 700 Christian girls, and around 300 Hindu girls, are married forcibly each year and forced to convert to Islam.
Director of the Aurat Foundation, Mahnaz Rehman, told Fides news agency that incidents are largely ignored by police and civil authorities.