Christian women who refuse to embrace Islam are facing attacks and even abduction in Egypt, despite the government vowing to boost security and protect the country's Christian minority.

More than a month after she went missing, Christians are still searching for 22-year-old Suzan Ashraf Rawy who disappeared last month while walking to the church where she works in Egypt.

Local Christians fear she has been kidnapped, just like two other young women who suddenly vanished from the same Cairo suburb just days before.

The situation is especially difficult in the Christian town of Al Khosous near Cairo, the capital, BosNewsLife established.

Christian women "are now too frightened to leave their houses" and a women's meeting at Suzan's church was canceled, a Christian source said.

In other attacks, several local women have had acid thrown in their faces for not wearing veils as required under the strict interpretation of Islam, according to Christians familiar with the situation.

The suspected abductions follow a recent incident in which a Muslim was reportedly accidentally shot and killed during a dispute over money. A Christian man was taken into police custody and is expected to face charges of manslaughter.

Since then, there has been a sharp increase in attacks on Christians - especially against women - in Al Khosous, Christians say.

"We need to pray for peace to prevail and that the people behind the abductions and the attacks be stopped,” said an area Christian leader whose name was not revealed amid security concerns. 

Christians across Egypt remain under intense pressure. Eshhad, a project by the Cairo-based Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy which tracks persecution of Egypt’s Copts, found 36 examples of persecution in 2017 alone, including beheadings and targeted violence.

- with reporting by STEFAN J BOS