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President Mohamed Morsi
Photo: Flickr / European Union

The criminal court of Beni Suef (south of Cairo) has sentenced an entire single-parent family to prison for converting to Christianity. Nadia Mohamed Ali, who was born into a Christian family, converted to Islam when she married Mustafa Mohamed Abdel-Wahab 23 years ago. When Mustafa died in 1991, Nadia decided to return to Christianity, bringing her seven children with her.

In 2004, the family decided to take Christian names and have their identity cards amended. Seven Registry Office officials facilitated this. Now Nadia and her seven children have been convicted and sentenced to 15 years in jail, while the seven Registry Office officials have each received 5-year sentences.

Samuel Tadros, a research fellow at Hudson Institute's Centre for Religious Freedom, said conversions like Nadia's have been common in the past, but that Egypt's new Sharia-based constitution "is a real disaster in terms of religious freedom."

President Mohamed Morsi, who was elected last June and succeeded the secular reign of Hosni Mubarak (who is now in prison), pushed the new constitution through last year. The constitution limits the practice of Christianity because "religious freedom has to be understood within the boundaries of Sharia." He prescribes that the highest Sunni authority should be referred to as an interpreter of the religion clause contained in the constitution. To review past reports, please go to the Egypt Country Report.

Please pray that the Lord will mightily intervene in this situation, and that the family and Registry Office officials involved will be released. In fact, may this particular case serve to highlight the true nature of Islam and the injustices that can result from a Sharia-based constitution, bringing about the restoration of genuine religious freedom in this nation. Despite the present challenges facing the persecuted Church in Egypt, may it continue to grow in strength, faithfulness and number.

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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