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Reformers in Egypt's parliament want to have a controversial blasphemy law removed from the constitution, but the Ministry of Justice is trying to block their efforts. The law has frequently been used to prosecute people who seem to criticize Islam, and it's also misused to persecute minorities such as Christians.

The Ministry of Justice opposes any repeal of the blasphemy law, claiming it helps stop the spread of "strife and division." However, reformers say the statute is contrary to the constitution. Additionally, the law is vague, giving judges too much discretion to issue harsh punishments.

Since Egypt's new constitution was passed in 2014, there have been many controversial prosecutions of Christians, while extremists who attacked Christian communities were allowed to act with impunity.

Earlier this month, hundreds of Muslims gathered in Qaryat Al Bayda village, south of Alexandria, and vandalized property belonging to Pastor Karas Nasr's church. Security forces didn't intervene to stop the attack, but instead arrested six Christians on accusations of planning to illegally build a church.

In 2014, there were two high-profile cases in which the blasphemy law was used against Christians. Dimyana Abd al-Nour, a 27-year-old teacher, was sentenced to six months in prison for comments she allegedly made in a history class; and 29-year-old Kirollos Shawqi Attallah was given a six-year sentence merely for "liking" a Facebook page for Christian converts. Other reports may be found at the Egypt Country Report.

Please pray that the blasphemy law will be repealed, and that the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will choose to support freedom of religion. Uphold all who are being unjustly imprisoned in Egypt at this time, asking the Lord to grant them the strength they need to endure until their release. Continue to pray for the protection of Pastor Karas and his congregation, especially those who have been arrested and falsely accused.

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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Egypt News

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    Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt
    Photo: Wikipedia / Ahmad Badr (cc)

    On February 9th, the Egyptian president officially swore in the new head of the country's Supreme Constitutional Court: Boulos (Paul) Fahmy Eskandar. Judge Eskandar is the first Coptic Christian to be appointed to this positi

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    Photo: Flickr / Andrew A. Shenouda (cc)

    Until 2016, it was nearly impossible for churches in Egypt to obtain the required licensing to build or restore a building for worship. As a result, many structures were built without a license. With the passing of legislation in September 2016, a government

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  • Physically Disabled Christian Convert Beaten
    A mosque and a church in Egypt. - Photo: Flickr / David Evers
    Photo: Flickr / David Evers (cc)

    On March 17th, Brother "P" was lured from his house by neighbours and beaten because he had converted to Christianity. Due to a physical disability, he was unable to escape from his attackers, so fellow Christians came to his aid. As a result of their intervention,

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