|Score:||70 / 100|
|Persecution Type:||Islamic Oppression|
|Persecution Level:||Very High|
|Leader:||President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi|
Profile of Persecution Methodology
Where Persecution Comes From
In a country where 90 percent of the population is Muslim, Christians in Egypt have been treated as second-class citizens since the advent of Islam in the region. The rise of radical Islamist groups has only exacerbated Christian persecution, affecting believers in their villages, neighborhoods and workplaces. The ousting of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013 has caused these radical groups to become even more violent toward Christians, whom they allege supported Morsi’s removal. The Islamic State (IS) group, in particular, has staged several violent attacks against believers in various parts of the country. Adding to this persecution is the Egyptian state’s low regard for religious freedom and other fundamental rights.
How Christians are Suffering
Egyptian Christians suffer from persecution in various ways. Those with Muslim backgrounds face enormous pressure from immediate and extended families to return to Islam. Severe restrictions on building or securing places for communal worship prevent Christians from gathering together, in addition to hostility and violence towards believers who do manage to gather. Christians, particularly women, also face discrimination and abuse in their workplaces and the public square. Radical imams regularly incite hostility and violence towards Christians, resulting in the deaths and injuries of many believers in the past year alone.
For five years, more than 1,600 Christians in the village of Kom El-Loufy have been unable to reopen their church due to fierce hostility from local Muslims and a refusal from authorities to grant the necessary license.
On Palm Sunday 2017, two suicide bomb attacks on churches killed 45 and injured 100 others in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.
In May 2017, 30 to 35 Christians (depending on reports) were killed and 28 wounded while traveling to a monastery. The gunmen tried to get them to convert to Islam before opening fire.
In July 2017, an Egyptian Christian soldier was beaten to death for refusing to remove his tattoos of a cross and Christian saints.
Pray for Egypt
- Pray for Christian converts who are ousted from their homes for leaving Islam. Pray that the Lord would provide for and comfort them.
- Pray that God would bring even the leaders of Islamist groups to Christ, that they might be used for His purposes.
- Pray for Christians who have been slighted in social, political and legal affairs to entrust their situation to God
Stories from Egypt
Coptic Priest Benjamin Mofta shares how the death of his friend/fellow priest Samaan Shehata has emboldened his faith.
“Religious holidays like Palm Sunday and Easter carry with them extra risk and danger for millions of Christians in places…
Our brothers and sisters in Egypt remind us that God hasn’t abandoned His people when they’re experiencing opposition and persecution.