High-Profile Convert Jailed for 'Inciting Strife'
Pray that God will protect Mohammed,
as well as his wife and children.
Mohammed Hegazy, a well-known Christian campaigner for religious liberty, has been detained in Egypt for allegedly inciting "sectarian strife." Sources are concerned that the 31-year-old believer may be enduring torture in prison.
Mohammed (now widely known by his Christian name, Bishoy Armia Boulous), was arrested on the morning of December 4th at a café in Minya, Upper Egypt. Security forces claim he had been working for a Christian satellite TV channel and contributing to a "false image" that there is violence being perpetrated against Christians in Minya.
Those familiar with the case argue that Mohammed's arrest had nothing to do with any reporting work but was rather the result of ongoing retaliation for his conversion to Christianity. After embracing the Christian faith in 1998, he was arrested many times. On one occasion, the imprisoned believer was severely tortured for three days.
In August 2007, Mohammed was the first Egyptian to ever file a legal suit to change his religious identity on his ID card. The court later ruled against him on the grounds that Sharia (Islamic law) forbids conversions from Islam. In April 2010, an appeals court suspended the case indefinitely. (For more information on his case, click here.)
As a result of his conversion and attempts to change his ID card, Mohammed has received multiple death threats, forcing him, his wife and their two children into hiding. His family is reportedly now living in an undisclosed country in Europe.
As our brother-in-Christ faces yet another grueling trial because of his faith, pray that God will grant him needed strength and grace for each moment. May he echo the Apostle Peter's determination to obey the Lord regardless of what mere man says (Acts 5:29). Ask the Lord to also be especially near to his wife and children so that peace may reign in their hearts during this difficult time.