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Tensions remain high in an Egyptian village where several thousand Muslims went on a rampage on February 12 over a false rumour that a church was holding a 14-year-old girl against her will in order to convert her back to Christianity. Sources said that between 2,000 and 5,000 hard-line Muslims, most of them from the Salafi movement, harassed Christian villagers in Meet Bahsar in the Nile Delta, attacked a church building to "save" the girl, damaged a priest's house and then destroyed his car. The girl was not in the church.

The girl's father, an ethnic Copt who converted to Islam, had stirred the crowd up on the mistaken notions that his daughter had converted to Islam and that Christians had kidnapped her. It was unclear if the girl's father was merely mistaken about her location or if he intentionally misled villagers.

The Salafi movement is made up of extremely conservative Muslims increasingly known for their hateful rhetoric and attacks against churches in Egypt. The Salafis have used rumours of kidnappings or relationships between Christians and Muslims to incite other attacks against Christians.

Please pray the Lord will use those in authority to protect Christians in Egypt. Ask the Lord to strengthen the faith of believers during this time of unrest in Egypt. Pray that Egyptian believers will rejoice in the opportunity to grow in Christlikeness through the ongoing opposition they face (James 1:2-4). Pray that the Spirit will move in the hearts of this girl and her father.

For more on persecution in Egypt, go to the Egypt Country Report.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
106,437,241 (July 2021 est.)

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

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

Leader
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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