Updated: Oct 12, 2019
Score:76/ 100Region:AfricaPersecution Type:Islamic OppressionPersecution Level:Very HighPopulation:99,376,000Christians:9,521,500Main Religion:IslamGovernment:Presidential RepublicLeader:President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Profile of Persecution
Because of religious discrimination in Egypt, Christians suffer from persecution in various ways. Islamic culture fuels religious discrimination in Egypt and creates an environment causing the state to be reluctant to respect and enforce the fundamental rights of Christians. Though President el-Sisi has publicly expressed his commitment to protecting Christians, his government’s actions and extremist groups’ continued Christian persecution attacks on individuals and churches, leaving Christians feeling insecure and extremely cautious. The state also makes it nearly impossible for believers to get any official recognition of their conversion. Though Egypt has approved applications for more than 500 churches (out of 3,000 filed over the last two years), Christians of all backgrounds still face difficulty in building churches or finding a place to worship together with other believers.
How Christians are suffering
Those with Muslim backgrounds often face enormous pressure from immediate and extended families to renounce their faith and return to Islam. Severe restrictions on building or securing places for worship often prevent Christians from congregating, in addition to hostility and violence toward believers who do gather. Christians, especially women, face religious discrimination in their workplaces and public spaces. And in recent years, Islamic extremist groups have targeted Christians and churches both individually and en masse in numerous violent and deadly acts of persecution. Specifically, the Islamic State group has publicly vowed to wage war on Christians.
In December 2017, a gunman opened fire in Cairo at a church and a nearby shop owned by Christians. Eleven people died as a result of the attack.
In July 2018, a mob attacked Christians in a village in Minya, when Muslim residents were angered by a Facebook post they believed to be blasphemous.
Many Christian girls and women have become the victims of sexual harassment, abduction and rape. In just one month (April 2018), at least seven cases of abduction were documented.
In early November 2018, Islamic State militants attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians from a monastery in Minya, killing eight and injuring more than 13 people.
Pray for Egypt
Pray with Christians in Egypt who are grieving for loved ones lost in deadly attacks on both individuals and churches. Pray for a spirit of peace in the hearts of believers.Pray with Christians for boldness and passion as they continue to build the church in the face of discrimination, loss and violence.Pray for protection of Egyptian Christian women and young girls who are extremely vulnerable to kidnappings and forced marriages to Muslim men.Pray that God would bring even the leaders of Islamist extremist groups to Christ, that they might be used for His purposes.
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