EGYPT – High-profile convert detained for ‘inciting strife’

A well-known Christian campaigner for religious liberty, Mohammed Hegazy, has been detained in Egypt for allegedly inciting ‘sectarian strife’. Sources are concerned he may be tortured.

Hegazy, 31 – now widely known by his Christian name, Bishoy Armia Boulos – was arrested last Wednesday at a café in Minya, Upper Egypt. Security forces claimed he’d been working for a Christian satellite TV channel and contributing to a ‘false image’ that Christians in Minya are a target for violence.

Boulos’s friends believe his arrest was yet another attempt to persecute Egypt’s ‘best-known convert from Islam’. Boulos was the first Egyptian ever to file a legal suit to seek to change his religious identity on his ID card. As a result, he received death threats, forcing him into hiding. He had previously been arrested and tortured because of his conversion.

The court ruled against him on the grounds that Sharia (Islamic law) forbids anyone to leave Islam. An appeals court suspended his case indefinitely in 2010, to await a ruling by the constitutional court on another case related to religious identity. Both cases have been on hold since the 2011 revolution, as the constitution is revised.

(Source: Morning Star News)

  • Ask God to sustain and protect Boulos. Pray that his high profile will lead to his swift release. Pray too for his wife and two children, believed to be abroad.
  • Pray that Egypt will become a nation where religious freedoms are enshrined in the constitution, upheld by officials and respected by society at large.

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