Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Christians Persecuted in Egypt

Sunday’s Jerusalem Post had this article on Christian converts in Egypt. I’ve had some pastors from Egypt in my doctoral classes I teach at Palmer Theological Seminary. One of my students was a leader in the Coptic Church in Egypt. “Coptic” is from the Egyptian word “gupta,” from which “E-gupt” (”Egypt”) comes. The “Coptic” church is the ancient Christian church in Egypt. Also, the Egyptian pastors told me that it was very difficult to be a follower of Jesus in Egypt, and there was a lot of persecution of Christians there.

Here is the Jerusalem Post article in its entirety. Note the lack of religious freedom in Egypt.
“Twelve Egyptian converts to Christianity have had their conversions officially recognized by an Egyptian court.

The 12 who were born Copts, converted to Islam and then converted back to their original faith.
The recognition of their new faith by the highest civil court in Egypt overturns an April 2007 ruling by a lower court forbidding them to convert to Christianity on the grounds that it would be apostasy.

The ruling is seen as a small victory for human rights advocates in Egypt.”

For more of this story go here. We read: "In his ruling Saturday (February 9), Judge El-Sayeed Noufal ordered Egypt’s Interior Ministry to issue the converts “Christian documents” noting their “ex-Muslim” status. “Every citizen should have a document confirming his civil status … mentioning one’s religion is very important to express one’s beliefs,” Noufal said in his verdict."

Imagine being a follower of Jesus in Egypt and having to carry an ID card that identifies you as "Ex-Muslim."