Egypt (MNN) — Egypt is a predominantly Sunni Muslim
state. Conversions from Islam are viewed as apostasy, although Muslim scholars
differ on the what action should be taken. Christians in Egypt are often
treated as second-class citizens, denied political representation, and
The Middle East Christian Association is a
Christian rights group that speaks out on their behalf. Voice of the Martyrs Canada's Glenn Penner
says they're also now the targets.
"The spokesman of MECA (45-year-old Wagih Yaob) and another man (47-year-old Vict George) were taken from their Cairo homes at about 4:30 in the
morning, and after being interrogated, they were sentenced to 15 days'
detention for 'insulting Islam' and 'ruining the reputation of Egypt.' Later that day, their lawyer (Mamdouh Azmy) in
Alexandria was also taken to a Cairo prison."
Believers have been feeling the pressure. Just two weeks ago, an Egyptian court acquitted
two other MECA activists who had faced charges of defaming Islam.
At times, the discrimination results in violence, as
happened during three days of rioting, starting on New Years Eve 1999 in
El-Kosheh. In February 2003, two of 96 Muslims
accused in this riot were convicted. However, in June 2004, 94 of the 96
convicted criminals were acquitted.
These are just a few of the incidents that are
behind the concerns Christians have shared.
Penner urges prayer. "Pray for those Egyptians, like these with the
Middle Eastern Christian Association, who have the courage to speak up, that
they'll continue to do so despite all the harassment that they're facing. Pray
that Egyptian Christians would respond to persecution in a Godly fashion."