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Ismailia, Egypt
Ismailia, Egypt
Photo: Wikipedia / Balou46 (cc)

A young Christian was arrested on November 11th after Facebook comments allegedly insulting Islam came to light. The comments had been made in the midst of a heated online exchange and, in the process, were widely shared by others.

Youssef Hany, who is 18 years old, could face up to five years in prison. On November 14th, a court in Ismailia ordered his release on bail after he apologized and stressed that he respected Islam. An unnamed Muslim woman was also arrested as a result of the online exchange for allegedly insulting Christianity. Media attention, however, has centred on Youssef.

In response to his case, a spokesperson for the Coptic Orthodox Church has publicly rejected any religious insults. Offending all religions is completely unacceptable, the spokesman stated, since it causes disunity among people and in society as a whole. For more on the challenges encountered by Christians in Egypt, go to our country report.

Pray for equity and justice to prevail among the judiciary as this case proceeds. May they respectfully uphold the fundamental freedoms of belief and speech for all citizens. Pray that Youssef's testimony and sincere apology will serve as stepping-stones toward greater tolerance and understanding between the country's Christian and Muslim communities. May God's people be granted wisdom and favour as they passionately share the Gospel and seek to live in harmony with all (Romans 12:18), mindful to clothe themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12). Finally, ask our Heavenly Father, who is the God of reconciliation, to reign with His peace over this divided nation.

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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