Egypt: blasphemy cases against Christians
There are three happening cases involving Egyptian believers from Muslim backgrounds charged with “insulting Islam and its prophet” or “inciting sectarian strife and public order.” Egyptian Christians request further prayer in light of the following developments.
On 24th June the Misdemeanor Court of Luxor found Kirollos Shawqi guilty of insulting Islam and its prophet. They also introduced and found him guilty of a second charge, of inciting sectarian strife. He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. Shawqi’s lawyers filed an appeal on procedural grounds, as he was denied representation during the initial interrogation and because there was a lack of material evidence against him. Leave to appeal has been granted, and an appeal hearing scheduled for September.
Demiana, a Christian teacher in Luxor accused of insulting Islam, was convicted on 11th June and given a fine and prison sentence. Initial reports that she had been sentenced to 6 years proved inaccurate. The custodial sentence, which was only imposed once the judge overturned the fine, is for six months.
The appeal hearing in the case of Bishoy Boulous (also known as Muhammad Hegazy) has been set for 20th July. His legal team believes the appeal is unlikely to be successful. Boulous was sentenced on 18th June to five years’ imprisonment for inciting sectarian strife, and disturbing public order.
Egyptian Christians thank you for your prayers. They request your continued intercession, asking that:
a. Shawqi, Demiana and Boulous and will know the peace, presence and protection of Jesus
b. The appeals in the cases of Shawqi and Boulous will be successful
c. Others convicted unjustly under Egypt’s blasphemy laws will have their cases reviewed and be acquitted
d. Laws and practices will be changed to grant all Egyptians greater freedom of expression
e. Those that have made false accusations will know the Spirit’s conviction of sin, and seek the Father’s forgiveness and new life available through the Son
f. All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.
Source: Middle East Concern