Anti-Christian violence in Upper Egypt regarding a conversion case resulted in a reconciliation session that has led to an unsteady calm for Christians.

The incident started when a Christian woman voluntarily converted to Islam, left the village, then returned on Eid married and pregnant to a Muslim man. Initially, when it became known that she converted to Islam, her family had to temporarily flee the village because of harassment from their new Muslim in-laws. The return of the woman return would cause mob violence targeting her family to spread through the village.

When the incident first began developing, a reconciliation session led the Christians to believe that the woman would not be allowed back into the village. This outcome was ignored by the authorities. A more recent reconciliation session expelled the woman from the village. The incident was also raised in Parliament.

While the outcome does ease the tension in the village, reconciliation sessions are inherently problematic. These sessions reinforce the concept that religious tension should be solved outside the law, a concept which often leads to further persecution. It is good that in this case the Christians were not expelled from the village a second time because of hardline Islamic harassment. However, the end result meant engaging in a process which is strategically detrimental to religious freedom.

Unsteady Calm Following Anti-Christian Violence in Egypt:

In Egypt, converting from Islam to Christianity is seen as a betrayal of your family and heritage.

In Muslim families, any member who leaves their Muslim beliefs and upbringing subjects themselves to tremendous pressure from their immediate and extended family to renounce Christ and return to Islam.

Some are locked up, others are isolated, tortured or even killed.

Recently, the Open Doors team in Egypt met with a new believer who shared his awe-inspiring testimony of how God used the conversion of his cousin to remove the scales from his own eyes.

Mostafa hoped the rumor was was true.

If it was, he knew he was obligated to protect the honor of his family. He knew he would have to kill the cousin he had grown up playing with on the desert lands of Upper Egypt. It was his family’s orders. It was why he had traveled so far from home to the capital city of Cairo.

The rumor was true.

Mostafa found his cousin in a church listening intently. Quietly, he slipped into the seat behind Mohammed and waited for the service to end.

But then he noticed something strange. The words he was hearing—the prayers, especially the worship—didn’t disgust him.

Instead, the lyrics of the songs touched him deeply.

Open Doors USA

Egyptian police arrested four students on Saturday, February 9, 2019 for investigations after the release of a Youtube video that included mockery of Christian hymns and prayers.

According to the Egyptian Interior Ministry, the four young men, which included a student from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, posted a video on YouTube on January 31, 2019 mocking Christian religion rituals.

Security forces were later able to identify the location of the four individuals and arrest them in the area of Abu Hammad Governorate of Eastern Province.

Four Egyptian Students Mocking Christian Religious Rituals Arrested:
Egyptian Streets

Eyewitness News (EWN)