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Maher El-Gohary and his daughter finally found
a doorway out of their life of hiding in Egypt,
where they lived in this humble apartment
– but they still feel trapped.
Photo Courtesy Compass Direct News

An Egyptian father and daughter who have been in hiding for two-and-a-half years after converting from Islam to Christianity (click here for more) recently fled the country. In February, Maher El-Gohary (58) and his daughter, Dina Mo'otahssem (17), flew from Cairo to Syria. After contact with a U.S. organization that concentrates on religious freedom, El-Gohary expected he would quickly be able to obtain a visa to the United States, where his wife lives. He tried for over a week, however, and was not able to make any headway. He then went to a U.N. office in Syria seeking assistance, and an appointment was scheduled for late April at last report.

Although El-Gohary and Dina do not live under the same type of threats as they did in Egypt, they still spend much of their time trapped between the four walls of their apartment because Syria is a country where converts to Christianity from Islam are persecuted. They are also struggling for basic necessities due to El-Gohary's lack of income. "I feel like we've stepped out of a prison cell and into a fire," El-Gohary said.

Even in this time of struggle, he acknowledges God's enduring care. "Without God's love, we would have been dead by now," he said.

Thank the Lord for the ways in which he has provided for El-Gohary and Dina. Pray that they will continue to rely on His strength and not on their own (2 Corinthians 1:8-9). Pray all Egyptian converts from Islam will be bold and wise witnesses for Christ.

You can learn more about the opposition facing Egyptian believers at the Egypt Country Report.

Current Ministry Project

VOMC works with international partners to provide a safe place of refuge, counsel and discipleship for Christians from Muslim backgrounds who were forced to flee their homes due to religious pressure from their families, and/or have experienced ostracization from others in their communities because of their identity in Christ.

Project Fund: Underground Church

Country Information


106,437,241 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Egyptian (99.7), other (0.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (90), Christianity (10)

President Abdelfattah Said El-Sisi (2014)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system based on Napoleonic civil and penal law, Islamic religious law, and vestiges of colonial-era laws

Source: World Factbook

Pray for Egypt

Pray on behalf of those who are facing economic and social challenges because of their Christian faith. Ask the Lord to provide for their spiritual and practical needs – further strengthening and emboldening them so they can effectively share the message of the Gospel with others in their communities. May the hearts of those who hear it be open and receptive to the wonderful truths contained in God’s Word.


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Egypt News

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    While the Egyptian government formed a committee in September 2016 to work through 3,730 applications to legalize unlicenced church buildings, the process has been slow. When VOMC last reported on the situation in September 2021, there were still 1,772 applications rem

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  • Mob Violence Erupts After Official Approval of Church
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    The Coptic church traces its presence in Egypt back to the first century.
    Photo: Flickr / Edgardo W. Olivera (cc)

    In 2016, a government committee was established in Egypt to work through more than 3,700 applications for the legalization of previously unlicenced church buildings. While the process