(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Fadi's case was heard at the juvenile court in Banha. (World Watch Monitor)
Fadi's case was heard at the juvenile court in Banha.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

A 15-year-old Christian boy has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexual assault, even though forensic reports showed no evidence of a crime. His mother says her son, Fadi, is innocent and was targeted because their militant Muslim neighbours, whose eight-year-old son was the alleged victim, "don't like Christians."

Fadi's lawyer, Naguib Gabriel, who is head of the Egyptian Union for Human Rights, was "surprised" at the verdict and the extensive length of the sentence because Fadi "didn't commit any crime." In June of last year, the results of a forensic examination of the eight-year-old boy showed no evidence of sexual activity.

Fadi's case was brought to the juvenile court in Banha, the capital of the Qalyubia Governorate, in November 2016. After several hearings, he was pronounced guilty on January 28th, 2017. Fadi's mother, Hanaa, told sources that after receiving the forensic report she thought their ordeal was over, only to be "shocked" to learn the charges against her son remained.

"If Fadi was a murderer, the sentence wouldn't be this long," announced their representing lawyer. "He is a child and didn't commit any crime. The judge's verdict wasn't related to law, but faith. He said he was not convinced about the forensic report and believed the allegation." Fadi's family are appealing against the verdict. Their appeal will begin on March 7th, 2017. To learn more about the persecution of Christians in Egypt, check our country report.

Thank you for praying on behalf of Fadi and his family, as well as the lawyer mediating on behalf of this case during the appeal process. May God strengthen their faith, helping them to trust Him with the outcome. Pray that they will be comforted in knowing that regardless of the court's response to their appeal, He will somehow use these circumstances for greater good -- sovereignly working out His higher plans for their lives and His ministry of salvation in the lives of Fadi's accusers.