Mohamed Hegazy battled with the Egyptian courts for nine years to be officially recognised as a Christian. His fight has ended – with his apparent decision to return to Islam.
Please pray for Mohamed who has endured relentless persecution since he tried to change the religious status on his ID card to ‘Christian’. He announced his return to Islam in a video posted on YouTube last week.
Mohamed, 34, had been behind bars intermittently since December 2013, charged with ‘protesting without permission’ and ‘defamation of religion’. A court finally ordered his release on bail on June 29. But it took a further month before he was freed: his lawyer, Karam Ghobrial, was deliberately ensnared in red tape and Mohamed was transferred between several different police stations.
In his YouTube video, he makes the Shahada, the Islamic proclamation of allegiance, and then delivers an apparently well rehearsed statement: ‘I say this out of my complete free will. I am not being held by any agency, nor am I under any pressure of any kind.’
Mohamed Hegazy changed his name to Bishoy Armia Boulous after he became a Christian at 16. He has been imprisoned twice, tortured and beaten regularly in jail: his family were forced to go into hiding.
Release CEO Paul Robinson says:
‘We must pray for Mohamed Hegazy. We do not know what duress he has been under recently added to all that he has suffered since his conversion to Christianity. God knows his heart.’
- Pray that Mohamed and his family will know that the God of all love and compassion will never leave them or forsake them. Pray that Mohamed will find peace and rest.
- Pray all outstanding charges against Mohamed will be dropped: his lawyer says they should never have been brought.
- Pray for Mohamed’s Egyptian lawyer, Karam Ghobrial, who has also paid a high price for defending his client. Pray that God will strengthen and protect him too.
- Pray for our Christian family in Egypt: pray they will not be worn down by harassment and persecution but stand firm in their faith.
(Source: World Watch Monitor)