by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Egypt’s foreign ministry announced Friday that six Coptic Egyptian Christian men who were kidnapped by a criminal gang in Libya earlier this month have been released, the Christian Post (CP) reports.
The Christians are expected to be repatriated in Egypt soon, but it is not known when.
Many Coptic Egyptians are known to risk intense persecution and even death by crossing into Libya in search of work, CP said.
The six Christians just released are from the southern Egyptian city of Sohag, CP said. They had traveled to Libya’s capital city Tripoli looking for work earlier this month and were kidnapped from a car while on their way to the employment they had found. The kidnapping took place just days before the anniversary of the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by Islamic State terrorists in Libya on February 15, 2015.
According to the Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) organization, the kidnappers demanded a ransom of $3,100 per captive, CP said. Relatives of the Christian men called on the Egyptian government to intervene as the families did not have the ransom money.
In a statement about the six Christians’ abduction, CSW President Mervyn Thomas said: “Their kidnappers must be held to account,” “We call upon the international community to press those who are in power in Libya to crack down on extremist and criminal groups and address the appalling discriminatory targeting and extortion of religious minorities and refugees.”
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