October 2017 Persecution Magazine

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<strong>October</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />


Egypt:<br />

On the<br />

Anvil of Islam<br />

Unpacking the history and reality of<br />

Egyptian persecution<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Table of Contents<br />

In This Issue:<br />


14 | Egypt’s Christians on the Anvil<br />

of Islam<br />

Egyptian Christians have endured relentless<br />

and violent persecution for 1,400 years.<br />


16 | Timeline of Egyptian History<br />

ICC examines important periods, themes, and<br />

events in Egypt’s history which have impacted<br />

Christian persecution within the country.<br />


22 | Egypt’s Systemic <strong>Persecution</strong><br />

ICC inspects different forces and factors that<br />

drive Christian persecution in Egypt.<br />


24 | Am I Next?<br />

Since December 2016, Coptic Christians have<br />

experienced an exponential increase in attacks.<br />


28 |The Faces of Egyptian Martyrs<br />

Personal profiles for seven Christians killed<br />

in the many attacks last year.<br />


30 | A Day in the Life<br />

A fictional narrative of everyday life for an<br />

Upper Egyptian Christian.<br />


32 | ICC: Building and Bandaging<br />

ICC cultivates creative and holistic assistance<br />

to serve persecuted Egyptian Christians.<br />

14<br />

16<br />

Regular Features<br />

3 Letter from the President<br />

A few words from ICC’s president,<br />

Jeff King, on why Egypt has become a<br />

hotspot of Christian persecution.<br />

4 World News<br />

A snapshot of the persecution that<br />

impacts our brothers and sisters daily, in<br />

every corner of the world.<br />

8 Your Dollars at Work<br />

Learn how your gifts are providing<br />

comfort, relief, Bibles, education and<br />

vocational training to the persecuted.<br />

12 Volunteers<br />

Learn how members of ICC’s volunteer<br />

teams are making an impact in their<br />

communities for the persecuted.<br />

25<br />

31<br />

29<br />

32<br />

2 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


President’s Letter<br />

“War is a series of catastrophes that results in a victory.”<br />

Georges Clemenceau (1841 - 1929)<br />

“Between the anvil and the hammer,” is a British colloquialism that aptly<br />

describes the plight of the Egyptian Christian.<br />

For 1,400 years, they have suffered under Islam with no hope in sight. The revolution<br />

brought hope for a time, but The Muslim Brotherhood quickly filled the<br />

power vacuum of the popular, but largely leaderless, uprising.<br />

Luckily, when they grabbed power, they quickly crushed democracy which led to<br />

a second revolution where the power of the military was reinstated.<br />

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has made several groundbreaking pronouncements about the<br />

need to protect Christians in several speeches, but the political reality is that he has<br />

to be very careful not to offend The Brotherhood, the Salafists, and the average<br />

fundamentalist in the street.<br />

Jeff King, President<br />

International Christian Concern<br />

There is great frustration among the masses toward the military as they have monopoly of perhaps 40 percent of the<br />

economy, which leads to massive corruption and economic stagnation. One wrong step and he could end up like Mubarak.<br />

In the meantime, persecution against Christians has been escalating for a decade and is only getting worse, not better.<br />

The Word tells us that if “anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name” (1<br />

Peter 4:16).<br />

There is no shame in suffering greatly for the name of Jesus; in fact, rather, Jesus told us that we would be treated as He had<br />

been. The Word tells us that these believers suffer because Jesus himself called them out of the world, as seen in John 15:19.<br />

In the end, a servant is not greater than his master and the Church in Egypt remains between the anvil and the hammer.<br />

Therefore, we will do what we can to soften the blow and to build and bandage the Church there.<br />

Please join with us as we bandage and build His persecuted Church in Egypt and around the world.<br />

As always, your donations will be used efficiently, effectively, and ethically.<br />

I promise!<br />

Jeff King<br />

President<br />

International Christian Concern<br />

www.persecution.org<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />



News<br />

3<br />

2<br />

1<br />

6<br />

4<br />

5<br />

Fanatics in Pakistan Threaten to Murder<br />

Christian Accused of Blasphemy if<br />

Released<br />

1 | PAKISTAN In early July, a Christian young man<br />

named Shahzad Masih was arrested under Pakistan’s<br />

infamous blasphemy laws. Shahzad works as a hospital<br />

sweeper and was accused by a fellow employee who<br />

is a member of the Tehreek e Tahafuz e Islam (TTIP).<br />

The coworker told a leader of the TTIP that Shahzad<br />

said something blasphemous during one of their conversations.<br />

At the time of writing, Shahzad is in police custody<br />

as the matter is being investigated. However, another<br />

leader of the TTIP has called for extrajudicial violence<br />

if Shahzad is released. He has been seen encouraging a<br />

crowd of supporters not to be afraid to take matters into<br />

their own hands and to kill Shahzad if he is released.<br />

The group also shared a photo of Masih and his accompanying<br />

First Information Report on social media.<br />

Perhaps most disturbing was the police station’s<br />

response to these legitimate death threats. They<br />

have said that while<br />

Shahzad is in their<br />

custody, he is safe.<br />

However, if he is<br />

declared not guilty,<br />

they said, “It is not<br />

our matter what happens<br />

to him after he is<br />

released.” In essence,<br />

they said, “Not my<br />

problem.” At present,<br />

the police have<br />

taken no clear action<br />

to address the threats<br />

against Shahzad<br />

despite widespread<br />

outcry from activists<br />

around the world.<br />

False blasphemy<br />

accusations are commonly<br />

used against<br />

Christians and other<br />

religious minorities<br />

in Pakistan to settle<br />

personal scores and<br />

spur religious violence.<br />

These accusations<br />

can carry serious<br />

consequences such<br />

as imprisonment and,<br />

in severe cases, the<br />

death penalty. Unless<br />

authorities take the<br />

necessary precautions<br />

to protect religious<br />

minorities from such<br />

unfounded accusations<br />

and the subsequent<br />

violence, Christians<br />

will continue to suffer<br />

from blasphemy laws<br />

in Pakistan.<br />

“She decided<br />

to go on hunger<br />

strikes...to protest<br />

the poor treatment.”<br />

Christian Arrested for Her Faith<br />

Denied Medical Aid in Prison<br />

2 | IRAN In 2013, an Iranian Christian woman<br />

named Maryam Naghash Zargaran was imprisoned<br />

for “propagating against the Islamic regime and<br />

collusion intended to harm national security.” Prior<br />

to her arrest, she was involved with Pastor Saeed<br />

Abedini’s ministry in an orphanage. She was also<br />

questioned by authorities a few years prior due to<br />

her involvement in the house church movement.<br />

Following her recent release from prison, Zargaran<br />

has spoken out against the inhumane treatment that<br />

she faced during her imprisonment. Furthermore,<br />

Zargaran’s family has claimed that she now faces<br />

depression as a result of the treatment that she<br />

endured over the past few years.<br />

Zargaran suffers from a heart condition called atrial<br />

septal defect, but did not receive adequate care to<br />

address this condition. Two months into her imprisonment,<br />

she experienced what was likely a heart<br />

attack. Although she was taken to a hospital, she was<br />

returned to the notorious Evin Prison shortly after and<br />

extra time was added to her sentence.<br />

Unfortunately, she reports that many of her other<br />

requests for medical care were denied. As a result,<br />

Zargaran decided to go on hunger strikes during her<br />

imprisonment to protest the poor treatment. Amnesty<br />

International has spoken out regarding this case,<br />

using Zargaran’s treatment as an example of the poor<br />

conditions in Iranian prisons.<br />

4 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Coptic Christian Soldier Beaten to Death for His Faith<br />

3 | EGYPT A young Christian man, Joseph Reda Helmy, had just finished his military training and was transferred to a police unit when he<br />

was brutally murdered because of his faith. According to Helmy’s family, he was beaten to death by three officers after they found out that he<br />

was a Christian.<br />

The Egyptian army told the family that Helmy suffered from a fatal epileptic seizure which caused his death, but the evidence did not support<br />

this. A doctor examined Helmy’s body post-mortem and noted that he had severe bruising on his back, head, shoulders, neck, and genitals. Not<br />

only is this not indicative of an epileptic seizure, but the doctor went so far as to report that Helmy’s death did not appear natural.<br />

China Bans International Students from<br />

Holding Religious Activities on Campus<br />

4 | CHINA A new set of restrictions that were implemented in July<br />

will greatly affect the religious freedom of international university<br />

students in China. Not only do the regulations forbid students from<br />

openly practicing their faith on campus, but they also force students<br />

to take political theory courses that cover topics such as Chinese law<br />

and Chinese culture. These new restrictions are in direct violation of<br />

China’s constitution which states that “no public organization…may<br />

discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any<br />

religion.” Unfortunately, this is only one of many examples of the<br />

Chinese government’s crackdown on Christianity.<br />

Vietnam Sentences Christian Blogger to 10 Years<br />

in Prison<br />

5 | VIETNAM A Catholic blogger named Mary Magdelene Nguyen<br />

Ngoc Nhu Quynh, commonly referred to as “Mother Mushroom,” was<br />

recently sentenced to 10 years in prison by a Vietnamese court. The<br />

blogger was accused of propaganda against the communist government<br />

for openly speaking out against the government’s treatment of religious<br />

minorities and its poor human rights record. Many lawyers and human<br />

rights activists have denounced this sentence and its severity, with<br />

one calling it “heavy and inhumane.” Despite the harsh sentence, the<br />

blogger has stated that she will not stop advocating for human rights in<br />

Vietnam.<br />

Twenty Crosses in India Desecrated in Single Night<br />

6 | INDIA On July 10, more than 20 crosses were desecrated along with several<br />

other plaques and gravestones at a Christian cemetery in India’s Goa State. A<br />

similar attack took place in the same location five years ago. Unfortunately, this<br />

is the most recent in a string of multiple incidents of vandalism in the region. In<br />

response to this attack, the local government has called on the Central Bureau<br />

of Investigation to look further into these recent crimes and take greater action<br />

to apprehend the suspects.<br />

Christian communities in India and their religious sites have faced steadily<br />

increasing attacks and discrimination since the BJP rose to power in 2014. As<br />

attackers often operate freely without punishment, they view the government’s<br />

response as a form of tacit approval. As long as the government stays silent,<br />

attacks of this nature will only worsen.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />



News<br />

2<br />

American Christian Missionary Held<br />

Captive in Mali<br />

1 | MALI This month, concerned Christians around the world<br />

are acknowledging the disappearance of Jeffery Woodke<br />

that took place one year ago. In <strong>October</strong> 2016, Woodke,<br />

who is a Christian missionary in Niger, was taken from his<br />

home by al Qaeda affiliates and taken across the border into<br />

Mali. Prior to his abduction, Woodke had served in Niger<br />

since 1992, assisting local tribes with food shortages.<br />

The affiliate group, Nusrat al Islam wal Muslimeen,<br />

released a video in July showing several Westerners who<br />

are being held hostage, encouraging negotiations for their<br />

release. However, Woodke was notably missing from the<br />

video. Many believe that the group is staying silent about<br />

Woodke until they determine their next move. While an<br />

official from the US State Department has commented that<br />

there is evidence to say that Woodke is alive, there is little<br />

more public knowledge beyond that. On the anniversary<br />

of his abduction and beyond, let us continue to pray for his<br />

release and that he and his family would hold fast to their<br />

faith during this trial.<br />

1<br />

7<br />

4<br />

5<br />

3<br />

President Trump Selects Gov. Brownback<br />

as New IRF Ambassador<br />

2 | USA On July 27, the White House announced that President<br />

Trump nominated Kansas Governor Sam Brownback as<br />

the next Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious<br />

Freedom. This position was created as part of the International<br />

Religious Freedom Act of 1998. The individual who fills<br />

this role serves as the leader of the Office of International<br />

Religious Freedom (IRF). This office plays a vital role<br />

in advocating for religious freedom as a key piece of US<br />

foreign policy. In addition to monitoring religious freedom<br />

violations around the world, the IRF office also recommends<br />

especially heinous violators of religious freedom as<br />

“Countries of Particular Concern.”<br />

Leading up to this nomination, Brownback has demonstrated<br />

his commitment to religious freedom through his service over<br />

the years. Prior to his governorship, Brownback worked actively<br />

on religious freedom issues as a member of the House of<br />

Representatives. He was also a key sponsor of the International<br />

Religious Freedom Act of<br />

1998 that led to the creation<br />

of this very position.<br />

If and when the nomination<br />

is approved by the<br />

Senate Foreign Relations<br />

Committee, Brownback<br />

would assume this position<br />

immediately. The<br />

filling of this position,<br />

especially with a strong<br />

supporter of religious freedom,<br />

sends a message to<br />

the international community<br />

that religious freedom<br />

remains a priority in US<br />

foreign policy.<br />

6<br />

Christian<br />

Woman<br />

Sexually<br />

Assaulted by<br />

Muslim Men in<br />

Bangladesh<br />

3 | BANGLADESH<br />

On June 18, a<br />

20-year-old tribal<br />

Christian woman<br />

was sexually assaulted<br />

by three Muslim<br />

men in Bangladesh.<br />

Thankfully, during<br />

the attack, she<br />

was able to grab the<br />

attention of other<br />

tribals who were<br />

able to rescue her.<br />

Unfortunately, the<br />

three men, ranging<br />

from ages 28 to 35,<br />

escaped and, at the<br />

time of writing, are<br />

still free.<br />

The woman’s family<br />

filed an official<br />

complaint, but is<br />

now facing pressure<br />

from local criminals<br />

to drop the complaint.<br />

By threatening<br />

the family,<br />

these criminals are<br />

re-victimizing this<br />

young woman after<br />

an already traumatic<br />

experience.<br />

Prior to this attack,<br />

the woman’s family<br />

was kicked off of<br />

its property by local<br />

Muslims seeking to<br />

take their property<br />

rights.<br />

Christian women<br />

in Bangladesh often<br />

find themselves vulnerable<br />

to this type<br />

of attack as they<br />

are viewed as easy<br />

targets due to their<br />

minority status.<br />

6 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Sporadic Clashes Continue Despite Victory Declared in Mosul<br />

4 | IRAQ In mid-July, news spread around the world that Mosul had been liberated from ISIS, following an official announcement from Iraq’s<br />

prime minister. However, despite the declaration of victory, military forces in Iraq continue to face occasional attacks from the extremist group.<br />

While Mosul is certainly moving in the right direction, it will be a long road to recovery until ISIS is fully removed from the city and civilians<br />

can begin to rebuild.<br />

Pastor Shot and Killed in Drive-By<br />

Shooting in Northern India<br />

5 | INDIA On July 15, Pastor Sultan Masih was fatally<br />

shot in a drive-by shooting outside of his church in<br />

northern India. Reports indicate that Masih was using<br />

his cell phone when two masked men on a motorcycle<br />

shot him four times before speeding away. Masih was<br />

taken to a hospital where he died shortly after.<br />

Masih’s relatives reported that during the month<br />

leading up to the shooting, they noticed suspicious<br />

activity outside of the church, including men taking<br />

photos and recording videos of the church. Following<br />

the murder, local Christians organized a demonstration<br />

to protest the government’s inaction and call for justice<br />

for the perpetrators.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Ministry<br />

Seeks Harsher<br />

Blasphemy Laws<br />

6 | INDONESIA The<br />

Ministry of Religious<br />

Affairs in Indonesia<br />

is in the process of<br />

adjusting its Religious<br />

Rights Protection Bill.<br />

These revisions would<br />

expand the legal definition<br />

of blasphemy,<br />

leading to more frequent<br />

and harsher<br />

sentences under this<br />

charge. If passed, this<br />

bill would threaten<br />

religious minorities<br />

throughout Indonesia,<br />

threatening them with<br />

prison terms of six<br />

months to five years<br />

if convicted. This new<br />

development is widely<br />

seen as a step backwards<br />

for religious<br />

freedom in Indonesia.<br />

Al-Shabaab Militants Kill Seven<br />

Christian Men in Eastern Kenya<br />

7 | KENYA Between July 5 and July 8, militants from<br />

al-Shabaab raided three villages in eastern Kenya.<br />

When the dust settled, seven Christian men were killed<br />

along with three police officers. Locals reported that<br />

the attackers went door to door, targeting Christians.<br />

One pastor noted that the attackers demanded that<br />

the residents show them their identification cards,<br />

and those whose cards identified them as Christians<br />

were killed. As a result, schools in the three villages<br />

were shut down and Christian families evacuated the<br />

area. More protection must be given to churches and<br />

Christian communities near the Somali border or else<br />

these communities will only become more vulnerable<br />

to al-Shabaab attacks.<br />


Your Dollar$ at Work<br />

Small Business Assistance for Joy in Jesus<br />

Church Attack Victim<br />

Suffering Wives and Children<br />

Al-Shabaab fighters attacked the Joy in<br />

Jesus Church in Kenya in 2014. At least<br />

seven people died during the attack, leaving<br />

many families vulnerable.<br />

Sarah Ambesta, a widow and mother of two<br />

boys, lost her husband during the incident. He<br />

was the breadwinner of the family, so in addition<br />

to grieving their loved one, they were left<br />

without a way to support themselves. Sarah<br />

moved to Nairobi to be close to her aunt and<br />

to hopefully start selling clothes on the street<br />

to provide for her family.<br />

When we discovered Sarah’s tragic situation,<br />

we investigated various ways that<br />

we could assist her family. First, we helped<br />

her locate a place where she could start her<br />

business and then provided renovations so it<br />

would be suitable for her business. Second,<br />

we helped her register the business and<br />

assisted with all the required paperwork.<br />

Finally, we paid for two months’ rent and<br />

purchased a new stock of clothes for her<br />

to sell.<br />

Sarah is now able to provide for her<br />

family and is excited to be serving her customers<br />

in her new store. She expresses her<br />

gratitude and remembers that God is the one<br />

who always provides:<br />

“Thank you very much and God bless you<br />

all! For sure I’m really grateful for the big<br />

job you have done for me and my kids. May<br />

the heavenly blessings of the Lord follow<br />

you and the people who stood in the gap of<br />

helping me and my kids. For sure we can<br />

now smile. Indeed, it’s a big project and I<br />

am humbled and grateful. Shalom.”<br />

The Lord once again provides through<br />

our caring donors who have the heart to<br />

help their persecuted brothers and sisters.<br />

Thank you for your support and donations<br />

that help us make a difference in the lives<br />

of our family in Christ.<br />

8 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


A Well for Qaraqosh<br />

Community Rebuild<br />

Before ISIS’ invasion, Qaraqosh was one<br />

of the largest Christian cities in Iraq.<br />

ISIS, however, caused many people to flee.<br />

Now that Qaraqosh is liberated, people would<br />

like to return, but the city is destroyed. Many<br />

Christians want to come back home, but<br />

they lack clean and consistent water sources.<br />

Currently, their water is sourced from Mosul.<br />

Christians who have returned home expressed<br />

frustration, “At the beginning the water was<br />

not clean, and comes for 15 minutes and gone<br />

for five minutes.”<br />

Unclean and sporadic water is not conducive<br />

to encouraging families to return<br />

home. We built a well for 15 of the returning<br />

families to ensure that they had a stable and<br />

clean water source for washing, cleaning,<br />

and watering. One Christian, Firas, told us,<br />

“I have olive trees on our garden. Although<br />

ISIS burnt the house, some of them [are] still<br />

alive, so the well is helping to give water to<br />

those trees. [Life] is getting back.”<br />

Water is vital to beginning the rebuilding<br />

process.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Education for<br />

Underground<br />

Pastor in Nigeria<br />

Underground Pastors<br />

Thanks to the support of our donors and<br />

with the assistance of our team on the<br />

ground, we have been able to help persecuted<br />

Christians in Nigeria. During the implementation<br />

of the Youth Trauma Counseling<br />

Program, we established a solid partnership<br />

with Pastor John. He was dedicated to this<br />

project because he has a strong desire to help<br />

kids who are victims of persecution. When he<br />

shared his plan to further his education, we<br />

wanted to show him our support.<br />

He was granted a scholarship at Gordon<br />

Conwell Seminary in Massachusetts, which<br />

covers his tuition in full. However, Pastor John<br />

deferred his plans to <strong>2017</strong> because he needed<br />

to raise money for his living expenses and<br />

immigration paperwork. Since he has been<br />

a loyal partner, we decided to provide some<br />

financial assistance to encourage him in this<br />

new journey of starting his master’s degree.<br />

Pray for Pastor John as he pursues this<br />

dream to equip himself in his desire to continue<br />

serving the persecuted Church.<br />


Your Dollar$ at Work<br />

Housing Assistance for Boycotted Christian Widow<br />

Save Our Sisters<br />

In 2014, a ban against the practice of<br />

Christianity was passed in Chhattisgarh<br />

state, India. This ban affected several<br />

Christian families that are now facing discrimination<br />

because they were denied access<br />

to necessities such as water, electricity, and<br />

even their fields and livestock.<br />

Rekha Bai, a recently converted Christian,<br />

was one of the many victims affected by this<br />

boycott. She professed her faith in Christ, so<br />

she was beaten at the shop where she worked<br />

and was later kicked out of her village. She<br />

lived at a bus station for a week until a<br />

Christian from another village allowed her to<br />

stay with them.<br />

Before her conversion to Christianity,<br />

Rekha lost her husband and fell into an<br />

alcohol addiction, which took a lot of energy<br />

and time to surpass. However, it was during<br />

this vulnerable time that she met a pastor<br />

who explained the Gospel to her and shared<br />

about Jesus’ great love. Rekha felt that the<br />

Lord spoke to her through the pastor and<br />

she immediately gave her life to Christ. Her<br />

employer noticed a positive change in her,<br />

and thus, he asked her about her transformation.<br />

When Rekha shared her story and told<br />

him about Jesus, he decided to kick her out.<br />

Rekha said, “Once I was living without<br />

any purpose and aim in my life and just earning<br />

and drinking, no hope at all. But when I<br />

was chosen by Jesus Christ, my whole life<br />

changed; now I have hope, aim, and purpose<br />

in my life.”<br />

Rekha’s decision to follow Christ in a<br />

country where Christ is not welcome was<br />

indeed the wisest, but not the easiest to make.<br />

She is in need of a more permanent housing<br />

solution now as well as a job to sustain<br />

herself. Fortunately, the Christian who is currently<br />

sheltering her is willing to give her a<br />

piece of his land where she can build a house.<br />

However, Rekha does not have the abilities<br />

nor the resources to build herself a home.<br />

God once again proves to be faithful to<br />

those who trust in Him. With the help of<br />

generous donors, we provided the financial<br />

resources to build Rekha’s home, including<br />

the labor, metal sheets, iron rods, doorposts,<br />

door, cement, flooring, and bricks.<br />

Rekha was very grateful and expressed her<br />

deepest thanks. She said, “Now I wanted to<br />

live for Jesus Christ and live like a testimony.<br />

[At one point] nobody was there to care for<br />

me, no family member, no well-wisher, but<br />

now I have [the] whole Christian community<br />

to care for me and worries about me more<br />

than I do.” Rekha went on to say, “My own<br />

husband and my boss where I used to work<br />

never cared for me during my lifetime, but<br />

these unknown people with great love are<br />

helping me and caring for me, which really<br />

surprises me.”<br />

Please keep Rekha Bai in your prayers as<br />

she starts her new life in a new home and a<br />

new village. Ask God that she would continue<br />

to live out and proclaim her faith in Jesus<br />

Christ fervently. Please pray that the believers<br />

who have already helped Rekha so much<br />

would continue to be not only an example of<br />

God’s grace, but also a solid Christian community<br />

for her.<br />

10 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Your Dollar$ at Work<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Bibles for Pastor Emmanuel<br />

Bibles<br />

With extrajudicial and judicial persecution, Pakistan remains a difficult place to practice<br />

Christianity. Radical Muslims continue to use blasphemy laws subjectively to imprison<br />

Christians. Employers reserve the worst jobs for religious minorities like Christians. Extremist mobs<br />

attack Christians practicing their faith in public and destroy Christian literature, including Bibles.<br />

We regularly support underground pastors and empower them to safely spread the Gospel<br />

throughout Pakistan. Recently, pastors have started church plants in areas that are difficult to<br />

reach. However, the churches need Bibles to help strengthen the congregants.<br />

We were able to send 100 Bibles to those church plants. These Bibles will benefit local pastors, congregants,<br />

and underground convert groups that follow up with Muslim and Hindu seekers.<br />

Six Missions with Good Life Club<br />

Suffering Wives and Children<br />

Ongoing attacks and violence against ethnic and religious minorities occur in northern Burma<br />

by the Burma Army in the country’s border areas. In many circumstances, religion is a<br />

motivating factor behind such attacks. Following their independence from the British, the new<br />

government targeted and brutally attacked Christians.<br />

In the spring of 2016, we began helping persecuted Christians in Burma by supporting six<br />

“Good Life Club” missions in Chin state, Kachin state, Pa-oh, and Lahu areas. Funds were used<br />

by the Good Life Club to buy medicine, clothes, school supplies, relief supplies, and transportation<br />

to bring the supplies where they needed to go. The beneficiaries, especially the kids, were<br />

grateful to receive the aid.<br />

Hope House Update<br />

Community Rebuild<br />

Through our Community Rebuild Fund, we continue to successfully reshape the Christian<br />

community of Upper Egypt. In the first six months of <strong>2017</strong>, the Hope House in Egypt has<br />

provided educational support to over 110 Christian students, teaching math, Arabic, English, and<br />

computers. Hope House also provided microfinance loans to 14 Christians seeking to start new<br />

businesses to support their families as well as vocational training to 10 Christian women who<br />

were taught how to sew.<br />

Through all of our Hope House programs, we desire to make a major impact on the Christian<br />

community of Upper Egypt, where discrimination and persecution have dictated the quality of<br />

life for Christians for too long.<br />

Easter Bombing Assistance Continues<br />

Suffering Wives and Children<br />

On March 27, 2016, a suicide bomber attacked the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore, Pakistan.<br />

The bomber detonated only a few meters from the children’s swings. Forty-one Christians<br />

died in the bombing while many others were injured.<br />

Since then, we have assisted 19 Christian families whose breadwinners were either killed or<br />

handicapped by the attack. To help their long-term survival, we have provided small business<br />

solutions to the families that will allow them to provide for themselves. Currently, we are seeking<br />

to serve another five families affected by the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park bombing.<br />

With the help of donors, we were able to donate an auto-rickshaw to each of these families.<br />

The auto-rickshaw will allow the families to start their own small transportation business and<br />

provide a sustainable income.<br />


Volunteers<br />

Volunteers Unite for ICC’s<br />

Annual Bridge Conference<br />

Advocacy Team<br />

Pushes for Bill<br />

In June <strong>2017</strong>, ICC hosted the second annual<br />

Bridge conference on the persecuted<br />

Church. We brought together government<br />

leaders, ministries, victims of persecution,<br />

and the Western Church to learn how to<br />

effectively serve those who are suffering for<br />

their faith. This year’s conference was held<br />

in Southern California. As a ministry based<br />

in Washington D.C., this naturally posed<br />

some logistical challenges.<br />

Thankfully, volunteers from throughout<br />

the state of California offered their valuable<br />

time and efforts to help bring this conference<br />

to fruition. Nearly 25 people volunteered<br />

to help with registration, set-up, clean-up,<br />

translation, workshops, and countless other<br />

tasks as needed. They arrived early and<br />

stayed late, ensuring that everything was<br />

taken care of to help the event run as smoothly<br />

as possible.<br />

According to ICC’s volunteer coordinator,<br />

“Without the help of this wonderful<br />

group of volunteers, we wouldn’t have<br />

been able to pull off an event of this scale.<br />

These volunteers went above and beyond<br />

to make sure that ICC’s staff members<br />

had everything they needed. It was incredible<br />

to see this group of strangers come<br />

together with a common goal all in the<br />

name of supporting the persecuted. I look<br />

forward to working with this group again<br />

in the future!”<br />

Several speakers and attendees also commented<br />

on how helpful the volunteers at<br />

The Bridge were. Their service and professionalism<br />

left a lasting impression on all<br />

those who worked with them.<br />

At the conclusion of The Bridge conference,<br />

ICC hosted a training for those who<br />

were interested in volunteering with ICC<br />

on a long-term basis. Many of the attendees<br />

at this training were those who helped<br />

with the conference and were interested in<br />

connecting with ICC’s regular volunteer<br />

program.<br />

To everyone who offered their time,<br />

hard work, and prayers to help execute this<br />

year’s Bridge conference, we cannot thank<br />

you enough.<br />

“Whatever you did<br />

for one of the least<br />

of these brothers of<br />

mine, you did for Me.”<br />

– MATTHEW 25:40 (NIV)<br />

A<br />

n essential branch of ICC’s mission is<br />

advocating on behalf of the persecuted<br />

within the government. Often, ICC’s advocacy<br />

department calls on those in the volunteer<br />

program to help mobilize grassroots efforts.<br />

In July, a vital piece of legislation, the North<br />

Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act<br />

of <strong>2017</strong>, was stuck in the Senate Foreign<br />

Relations Committee. If passed, this bill<br />

would help persecuted Christians in North<br />

Korea by providing humanitarian aid to<br />

North Korean refugees, countering propaganda<br />

information to North Koreans still living<br />

in North Korea, and appointing a special<br />

envoy to work to protect human rights in<br />

North Korea.<br />

In response, ICC’s volunteers helped<br />

advocate for this important bill. Volunteers<br />

throughout the US contacted Sen. Bob<br />

Corker, the head of the Senate Foreign<br />

Relations Committee, urging him to prioritize<br />

this piece of legislation. In addition, volunteers<br />

all over the world helped raise awareness<br />

about this campaign on social media,<br />

bringing greater awareness to the issue of<br />

Christian persecution in North Korea. Thanks<br />

to many concerned volunteers, this bill could<br />

potentially bring relief to thousands who are<br />

suffering for their faith.<br />

12 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Looking for a Way to Make a Difference in the World? Join Our Team of Volunteers!<br />

For those wishing to assist the persecuted Church, many are not sure how to get started. However, volunteers all over the world are making a difference<br />

within their own communities as members of ICC’s five different volunteer teams: Advocacy, Awareness, Office, Prayer, and Special Projects.<br />

By standing up for the persecuted in countless different ways, ICC’s volunteers have played a crucial role in connecting the global Church by<br />

bridging the gap between the persecuted and the Western Church. It only takes one person to make a difference – are you willing to take the call?<br />

<strong>Persecution</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> Volunteers<br />

One of the most important aspects of ICC’s ministry is raising<br />

awareness about persecution by sharing the stories of the persecuted.<br />

Through the monthly <strong>Persecution</strong> magazine, we have helped give<br />

a voice to persecuted Christians who often have no other outlet to<br />

share their stories. Volunteers around the world have helped extend<br />

the reach of <strong>Persecution</strong> magazine by distributing extra copies in<br />

their communities. They have distributed magazines in their offices,<br />

schools, doctor’s offices, grocery stores, and more! Through their<br />

efforts, both Christians and non-Christians alike have read about the<br />

faithfulness of God in the midst of persecution.<br />

Translation Volunteers<br />

As an organization that works on projects all over the world, our supporters<br />

are a very diverse group. As a result, many of those who support<br />

our work are not native English-speakers. Those on the volunteer<br />

Awareness Team have stepped in to make informational materials more<br />

widely accessible to those in their communities. Volunteers help translate<br />

magazine articles, news releases, and prayer requests into other<br />

languages to distribute in their communities. This allows us to reach<br />

out to people who may have otherwise never heard the stories of the<br />

persecuted if not for the translation work of dedicated volunteers.<br />

Volunteer Teams<br />

1 Advocacy Fight for justice for the persecuted through petitions, Congress<br />

calls, and more.<br />

2 Awareness Raise your voice through speaking in churches, writing, and social<br />

media.<br />

3 Office Lighten the load of ICC’s staff by helping with administrative assignments.<br />

4 Prayer Intercede for our brothers and sisters in Christ both individually and as<br />

a church.<br />

5 Special Projects Volunteer on your own schedule through one-time projects.<br />

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Interested in Serving?<br />

Online Apply on our website at:<br />

http://www.persecution.org/how-you-canhelp/volunteer<br />

or send an email to<br />

volunteer@persecution.org<br />

Phone Want more information? Feel free<br />

to call us at (301) 585-5915.<br />




Egyptian Christians have endured relentless<br />

and violent persecution for 1,400 years.<br />

By Jeff King, ICC President<br />

14 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Christianity arrived in Egypt in the first century, a<br />

few years after the birth of Christianity. By the<br />

300s, it was a thriving center of Christianity that<br />

Church fathers, Clement (of Alexandria) and<br />

Origen, called home.<br />

All this changed in the year 639 when Amr<br />

ibn al-‘As entered Egypt with only 4,000 Arab<br />

troops and began to take cities.<br />

The Arabization and Islamization of Egypt<br />

took time, but once established, began many<br />

centuries of persecution.<br />

Fast forward to the last 10 years and you see Egypt becoming<br />

increasingly hostile to Christians. The military dictatorship that has<br />

ruled Egypt for almost 70 years is weakening. Their corruption and<br />

economic monopolies on various sectors of the economy have left<br />

them politically vulnerable.<br />

Frustration with the military blossomed in the “Arab Spring,” but<br />

as we expected and predicted, led only to a takeover by the Muslim<br />

Brotherhood.<br />

Luckily, they overplayed their hand and Egyptians rose up again<br />

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and threw them out as they realized they would be bigger oppressors<br />

than the military.<br />

While the military has regained power, they are weak and<br />

must play ball with fundamentalist organizations like the Muslim<br />

Brotherhood and Salafists.<br />

The level of persecution against Christians has risen dramatically<br />

in the last 10 years. While el-Sisi has made many positive comments<br />

about protecting Christians, little has changed.<br />

What comes next in Egypt is unknown, but the Christians there<br />

are incredibly vulnerable so we will continue to build and bandage<br />

the Church in Egypt and we welcome you to join us.<br />

In the following pages, we have attempted to lay out a broad<br />

sketch of Christianity in Egypt so that you can understand everything<br />

from its history to the life of an average Christian.<br />

We will start with a timeline of Egyptian history and then an infographic<br />

to lay out the different forces driving persecution and factors<br />

affecting Christians.<br />

We hope this will help you make sense of the various forces at<br />

play that join together and keep Christians on the anvil of Islam<br />

in Egypt.<br />


Timeline of Egyptian History & I<br />

(7000 BC<br />

7000 BC<br />


Settlement of Nile Valley. Upper/<br />

Lower kingdoms unite<br />

Conquered by Assyrians, Persians,<br />

Alexander the Great, Romans<br />

31 AD<br />

32 AD-642<br />

Christianity established and spre<br />

CHRIS<br />


Introduction of Christianity in Egypt. By 4th<br />

642-831<br />

Thousands of Christians killed.<br />

Remainder must convert, work<br />

as semi-slaves, or leave Egypt<br />

831-832<br />

Revolt squashed by Muslim<br />

authorities, leaving no chance<br />

of Christianity resurging. Coptic<br />

Pope imprisoned, tortured<br />

1009<br />

Fanatic orders destruction<br />

of churches in Palestine,<br />

Egypt, and Syria<br />

642<br />



Islamic invasion and consolidation of power<br />

Christian exodus begins en masse. Christians leave or convert to<br />

Islam to live without persecution<br />

Islamic fundamentalist re<br />

emerges. Becomes known a<br />

1882<br />

British troops<br />

defeat Egyptian<br />

army, take<br />

control of the<br />

country<br />

1912<br />

Mahmoud Khattab al-Sobki (thought<br />

leader of Muslim Brotherhood) forms<br />

group to propagate Salafist teaching<br />

to clerics<br />

1922<br />

Egypt gains independence.<br />

British influence remains<br />

until mid-1950’s<br />

1926<br />

Main Salafist<br />

group is<br />

founded by a<br />

graduate of<br />

Al-Azhar and<br />

student of<br />

famed Muslim<br />

reformer<br />

1928<br />

Muslim Brotherhood<br />

founded by Hassan<br />

al-Banna, campaigns<br />

to reorient Egypt and<br />

Middle East away from<br />

Western influence<br />

1882<br />


Salafism begins<br />

to take root<br />

at Al-Azhar<br />

University<br />

Islamic fundamentalist rebirth with Salafist movement and birth of Brotherhood<br />

Oil production begins in Gulf States. Egyptians begin to be radicalized as they move to Egypt for oil-relate<br />

16 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


mpact on Christian <strong>Persecution</strong><br />

-1970 AD)<br />

ad throughout Egypt<br />



century, displaces existing religion. Thousands of Christians killed.<br />

642<br />

Government/<br />

Military<br />

Christianity/<br />

<strong>Persecution</strong><br />

Radical Islam<br />

1300s<br />

“Salafism” emerges as a<br />

fundamentalist movement<br />

of strict adherence to<br />

Quran and Hadith<br />

1700s<br />

Wahhabism founder<br />

begins preaching<br />

Saudi-Gulf Financing<br />

1517<br />


1882<br />

surgence<br />

s “Salafism”<br />

Egypt absorbed into Turkish Ottoman Empire<br />

Birth of Wahhabism<br />

1952<br />

July: Army<br />

coup. King<br />

Farouk<br />

abdicates.<br />

British rule ends<br />

1954<br />

General Nasser becomes prime<br />

minister (pres. in 1956)<br />

1960<br />

OPEC formed by<br />

Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq,<br />

Kuwait, Venezuela<br />

1967<br />

Israel pre-emptively defeats<br />

Egypt, Jordan, Syria. Massive<br />

loss for Nasser.<br />

1970<br />

Nasser dies, probably<br />

poisoned. Succeeded by Vice<br />

President Anwar al-Sadat<br />

1952<br />



Nasser tries to bring Arabs together under Pan Arab movement<br />

d jobs.<br />

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1970<br />

Timeline of Egyptian History & I<br />

1972<br />

Sadat releases<br />

Brotherhood/Salafis to<br />

counter Nasser/Marxists<br />

Sadat expels Soviets,<br />

reorients Egypt to the West<br />

1973<br />

OPEC declares oil embargo<br />

against US. Prices go from<br />

from $3/bbl to<br />

$12/bbl in a year<br />

Egypt/Syria attack Israel<br />

1975<br />

(1970-<br />

Saudi government spends an<br />

average of $2-3 billion/year to<br />

spread radical Wahhabi/Salafi Islam<br />

1977<br />

Sadat visits Israel.<br />

Radicals paint bullseye<br />

on his back<br />



Oil money pours into Saudi and Gulf States. These states initiate plan to radicalize Islam worldwide that continues today<br />

They seed political, terror, theological groups, and radical mosques around the world. Large subsidies given to Egypt.<br />

1981<br />

Mubarak reimposes State of<br />

Emergency. Restricts freedoms<br />

1992-97<br />

Terrorists attack<br />

government, tourists.<br />

Kill 62 in 1997<br />

2005<br />

May: Constitutional<br />

amendment allows<br />

multiple candidates at<br />

presidential elections<br />

July: Scores killed in Islamist<br />

bomb attacks<br />

Oct: Nun stabbed by Muslim<br />

Dec: Mubarak jails opposition<br />

leader. Brotherhood wins 20%<br />

of Parliament<br />

1981<br />

RULE O<br />

Beginning of rule, Mubarak crushes<br />

Brotherhood since they assassinated<br />

predecessor Sadat<br />

After decade<br />

Mub<br />

Brotherhood wins 20% of seats in Parliament<br />

18 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


mpact on Christian <strong>Persecution</strong><br />

2010)<br />

.<br />

1979<br />

Second oil shock in response to Iranian<br />

revolution. Price of oil doubles in 12 months<br />

1981<br />

Sadat assassinated by<br />

Islamists. Succeeded by<br />

Vice President Mubarak<br />

1981<br />

Government/<br />

Military<br />

Christianity/<br />

<strong>Persecution</strong><br />

Radical Islam<br />

Saudi-Gulf Financing<br />

2007<br />

Feb: Christian homes,<br />

shops burned<br />

Mar: Christian imprisoned<br />

for criticizing Muslim<br />

attack on church<br />

Sept: Christians attacked<br />

2008<br />

Apr: 80 Brotherhood leaders<br />

jailed. Brotherhood boycotts<br />

elections when only 20<br />

candidates allowed to stand<br />


2009<br />

Feb: Christian mother sexually assaulted<br />

then forced to recant her faith by police<br />

Apr: Christian shops attacked<br />

May: Cairo church bombed. Muslims<br />

attack Christians. Police arrest Christians<br />

Aug 26: Hezbollah members on<br />

trial for plotting attacks<br />

Sept: Church firebombed.<br />

Nov: 3,000 Muslims attack<br />

Christians, burn crosses<br />

Dec: Eight Coptic Christians killed<br />

2010<br />

<strong>Persecution</strong> increases. Homes<br />

burned, churches closed, pastors<br />

killed, girls abducted. Sheik calls<br />

for jihad against Christians<br />

Mar: Egypt State Security<br />

demolishes Anglican church.<br />

Pastor, wife killed<br />

June: Brotherhood loses elections,<br />

allege that vote was rigged<br />

s of organization and giving aid to masses, Brotherhood amasses political power and good will.<br />

arak is forced to loosen their leash. Brotherhood and Salafists turn increasingly violent<br />

Last 10 years of Mubarak’s rule, he takes leash off Brotherhood and Salafists as he tries to build<br />

base of support for turnover of power to son<br />

Large rise in violence toward Christians and churches<br />

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2011<br />

Timeline of Egyptian History & I<br />

(2011-<br />

2011 2012<br />

Feb: Mubarak cedes<br />

power to army council<br />

Mar: Nine Christians killed, 150<br />

injured in attack<br />

• Imam says, “Kill all Christians”<br />

• Church burned down<br />

Apr-Aug: Protests over slow pace<br />

of political change. Islamist groups<br />

come to the forefront<br />

May: 12 Christians murdered,<br />

232 injured<br />

• Coptic church besieged<br />

June: Eight Christian homes torched<br />

Aug: Coptic Christian killed<br />

Oct: 27 killed, 329 injured in<br />

police clash<br />

Oct: Protesters killed in riots<br />

Nov: Security forces clash with<br />

protesters accusing the military<br />

of trying to keep power<br />

Dec: National unity government<br />

headed by new prime minister<br />

takes office<br />

Dec: Thousands attack<br />

Christians, kill two<br />

ARAB SPRING and<br />


Several Islamic countries recall exchange<br />

students from Al-Azhar University due to<br />

its increasingly radical leanings.<br />

Salafists create the Al-Nour political party<br />

to push for strict Sharia Law<br />

“Arab Spring” begins with Tunisian street<br />

protests. Mubarak steps down. Revolution<br />

begins. Brotherhood and radical Islamists<br />

gather 70% of seats in Parliament<br />

Brotherhood<br />

capitalizes on<br />

power vacuum and<br />

hijacks election.<br />

They have national<br />

network and lots of<br />

political goodwill<br />

after decades of<br />

public service<br />

Jan: Christians attacked, homes burned<br />

• 3,000 Muslims attack homes, businesses<br />

Feb: 20,000 Muslims attempt to kill pastor, torch church<br />

• School employee jailed for insulting Muhammad<br />

May: Teen jailed for posting cartoons of Muhammad on<br />

Facebook<br />

May: State of Emergency ends<br />

May 2012<br />

June: Brotherhood candidate Morsi<br />

wins presidential election. Court<br />

imprisons Mubarak for life<br />

July: Homes burned<br />

Aug: Families forced out of<br />

homes by Muslim neighbors<br />

• Jihadist organizations: Faithful<br />

Muslims should kill Christians<br />

Aug: New prime minister, appoints cabinet with<br />

outgoing government, Islamists; excludes secular,<br />

liberal forces<br />

• Morsi strips military of power in new constitution<br />

Sept: Islamists installed in Egypt state institutions<br />

• Egyptian protesters torch US embassy flag<br />

Sept: Christians imprisoned<br />

• Families threatened by Islamic radicals<br />

• Coptic Christian arrested<br />

Oct: Christians attacked<br />

Nov: Brotherhood calls Coptic Pope to<br />

support Islamic law<br />

Nov: Sharia declared main source of law in Egypt<br />

Dec: Draft constitution approved; supports Islam,<br />

restricts freedoms<br />

• Government paralysis weakens currency, delays<br />

$4.8B IMF loan<br />

Dec: Islamists intimidate Christians during voting<br />



Islamists attack army outpost, kill 16 soldiers, marking a<br />

new surge in radicalism<br />

Brotherhood candidate Morsi wins presidency, quickly<br />

moves to crush alternative power structures in judiciary,<br />

legislature, press, and military<br />

20 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


mpact on Christian <strong>Persecution</strong><br />

<strong>2017</strong>)<br />

2013<br />

Jan: Over 50 protesters killed<br />

• Army chief warns political strife<br />

is pushing state to collapse<br />

Feb: Church destroyed, Christians attacked<br />

June: Morsi appoints Islamic allies as<br />

regional leaders in 13 of 27 governorships<br />

July: Army overthrows Morsi<br />

Aug: Hundreds killed as security<br />

forces storm pro-Morsi camps<br />

Aug: 40 Coptic churches destroyed<br />

Oct: US suspends large part<br />

of $1.3 billion in aid<br />

Dec: Government declares<br />

Brotherhood a terrorist<br />

group after bombing kills 12<br />

2014<br />

Jan: New constitution bans<br />

parties based on religion<br />

2015<br />

Feb: 21 Coptic Christians killed<br />

Apr: Ousted Morsi sentenced to 20 years in prison<br />

May: Morsi condemned to death. 100 Brotherhood<br />

members imprisoned<br />

May: Christian man convicted of blasphemy<br />

July: ISIS launches wave of attacks in North Sinai<br />

Oct: ISIS destroys Russian airliner in<br />

Sinai, killing crew and 224 passengers<br />

2016<br />

Jan: ISIS attacks tourist site, kills 10<br />

May: Christian activist arrested<br />

• Homes burned, elderly woman beaten<br />

June: 80 Christian homes burned<br />

• Priest assassinated by ISIS<br />

July: Muslim mob kills Christian, wounds three<br />

• Five homes burned, four attacked<br />

Sept: New law further restricts church construction<br />

Nov: Appeals court overturns Morsi’s<br />

death sentence, orders retrial<br />

June 2013<br />

Jan-Feb: At least eight<br />

abducted<br />

Feb: Seven Egyptian Christians<br />

brutally killed in Libya<br />

May: Former army chief el-Sisi<br />

wins presidential election<br />

June: three al-Jazeera<br />

journalists jailed in Morsi<br />

crackdown<br />

June: Man charged with<br />

blasphemy for liking a<br />

Facebook page<br />

Nov: Sinai-based armed group<br />

allies with ISIS. Renames itself<br />

Sinai Province<br />


Nov: Mobs attack, destroy property<br />

Dec: Cairo church bombing kills 25. ISIS<br />

claims bombing, threatens more attacks<br />

<strong>2017</strong><br />

Jan: Christian shopkeeper murdered<br />

Feb: Killings force Coptic Christian<br />

families to flee<br />

Apr: Suicide bombers kill dozens<br />

at two churches celebrating Palm<br />

Sunday. State of Emergency declared<br />

May: Christian man murdered in Sinai<br />

June: Government raids a church<br />

Morsi and Brotherhood overthrown by military after second revolt. Masses infuriated by<br />

Brotherhood. Military regains power and Sisi takes reins<br />

Present<br />

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Forces and Factors<br />

Driving Christian<br />

<strong>Persecution</strong> in<br />

Egypt<br />

I S L A M<br />

Islamic State<br />

A Sunni-Islam terrorist group<br />

trying to establish a caliphate.<br />

Radicalization<br />

Encouraging the adoption of<br />

extreme views.<br />

Muslim Brotherhood<br />

Radical, transnational Sunni<br />

political group birthed in<br />

Egypt in the 1920s, dedicated<br />

to the establishment and rule<br />

of radical Islam.<br />

Salafists/Wahhabism<br />

Ultra-conservative branches<br />

of Islam influenced and<br />

financed by Saudi Arabia.<br />

Sharia Law<br />

Set of Islamic laws laid down by<br />

Muhammad that is designed to<br />

slowly strangle other faiths.<br />

Al-Azhar<br />

Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university with two<br />

million students across Egypt which radicalizes<br />

college-age students as well as youth.<br />

Military & Political<br />

• A military dictatorship has ruled Egypt since 1952<br />

(except for the brief rule of Morsi) headed by Nasser,<br />

Sadat, Mubarak, and el-Sisi.<br />

• 25% of Egypt is illiterate and more than 80% are<br />

conservative Muslims who are easily manipulated<br />

by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists.<br />

• The military needs the support of these groups which<br />

give the radicals immunity in their oppression and<br />

attacks of Christians.<br />

• The military’s corruption (see Economy) makes them<br />

politically vulnerable, making room for the radicals.<br />

Economy<br />

• The military monopolizes approximately 30-40%<br />

of the industries in Egypt, leading to massive<br />

corruption, economic stagnation, and poverty.<br />

• The Brotherhood and Salafists provide a wide net of<br />

social services for the poor, giving them immense<br />

political power and influence for radicalization.<br />

• Christians do not have access to these social services.<br />

• One’s religion is listed on his or her birth certificate and<br />

ID cards, making discrimination easy.<br />

• Christians are barred from top jobs in government<br />

and industry.<br />

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OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


C H R I S T I A N I T Y<br />

Coptic & Protestant Christians<br />

Copts (Orthodox Christians) are led by a Pope with<br />

significant government oversight. The government<br />

hides actual numbers, but 12-15 million Egyptians<br />

are Coptic and one million are Protestant.<br />

Discrimination<br />

Christians are discriminated<br />

against in education, jobs,<br />

healthcare, etc.<br />

Attacks<br />

Fundamentalists attack and kill<br />

Christians as well as burn down<br />

their homes and churches.<br />

Sharia Law<br />

Egypt’s Constitution says<br />

Sharia Law is the foundation<br />

of Egypt’s laws. This creates<br />

an environment where<br />

Christians are targeted and<br />

perpetrators are not punished.<br />

Generational Poverty<br />

Christians suffer from a vicious cycle of<br />

generational poverty tied to educational<br />

deficits and job discrimination.<br />

Educational Deficits<br />

Christians are last in line for scholarships,<br />

awards, educational perks, and opportunities.<br />

Abductions<br />

Christian women and girls<br />

are frequently kidnapped,<br />

raped, forcibly converted,<br />

and “married.” Perpetrators<br />

are often not prosecuted.<br />

Church Suppression<br />

Churches cannot be built or repaired without<br />

the approval of the governor, State security,<br />

and numerous other government ministries.<br />

Education<br />

• Egypt’s Saudi-based school curriculum teaches<br />

hatred of Christians and infuses Islam into every<br />

subject.<br />

• The government regularly announces its intent to<br />

revise its school curricula, but it is never carried out.<br />

• The government funds Islamic schools and, in some<br />

cases, is required by the constitution to fund schools<br />

like Al-Azhar.<br />

• A massive network of free private Muslim schools<br />

financed by the Saudis are closed to Christians.<br />

Judiciary<br />

• The constitution is based on Sharia Law, creating an<br />

extremely hostile environment for Christians.<br />

• Egyptian judges often make decisions based on bribes,<br />

lobbying, and the whim of government officials, not on justice.<br />

• In the last 10 years, not one Muslim has been sentenced for<br />

attacking Christians.<br />

• After attacks on Christians, government officials often<br />

force Christians to participate in private reconciliation<br />

meetings rather than punish Muslim perpetrators.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />



Am I<br />

Next?<br />

Since December 2016, Coptic Christians have<br />

experienced an exponential increase in attacks.<br />

By Amy Penn<br />

24 PERSECU ION.org<br />

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PERSECU ION.org<br />


St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church<br />

On Dec. 11, 2016, a suicide bomber killed a total of 29 people<br />

and injured 47 others. ICC visited the church in April, where<br />

pillars still bear the scars of the violent attack.<br />

Over 110 Egyptian Christians have been<br />

killed, hundreds more injured, and 355<br />

families displaced from their homes—all<br />

within the past 10 months. The pace of<br />

attacks has been rising for years and seems<br />

to keep getting worse by the year. These<br />

attacks are well-planned and strategically<br />

executed, leaving local Christians in fear.<br />

Am I next? Will my family come home?<br />

Will we survive the next worship service?<br />

What will happen to my family if I’m<br />

killed? Will my wife be able to take care of<br />

our children?<br />

December 11, 2016: Cairo<br />

Church Bombing<br />

On Sunday morning, men knelt on one<br />

side of St. Peter’s Church and women worshipped<br />

on the other. Suddenly, an explosion<br />

ripped through the church from the women’s<br />

side. Debris flew everywhere and smoke and<br />

flames filled the church. The men rushed to<br />

the other side, looking for their wives, mothers,<br />

and sisters.<br />

One cathedral worker, Attiya Mahrous,<br />

who helped the victims, recounted the tragic<br />

scene to ICC, “I found bodies, many of them<br />

women, lying on the pews. It was a horrible<br />

scene.” The carnage was the result of approximately<br />

26 pounds of TNT placed in the pews.<br />

Church member Mena Adel said that “the<br />

church bombing was planned and carried<br />

out meticulously.” The perpetrator used the<br />

crowds to sneak in and sneak out, but one<br />

person saw him leave. Nabil Habib, a church<br />

guard, saw the man leaving the church and<br />

tried to approach him, but the bomb detonated<br />

before Habib reached him. Habib was killed<br />

in the attack.<br />

Habib’s wife, Nadia, remembered her husband<br />

as a man who devoted his life to the<br />

church, “He died defending the church…<br />

and everyone loved him.” With Habib’s loss,<br />

Nadia is left to both grieve and try to provide<br />

for her family.<br />

January-February <strong>2017</strong>:<br />

Seven Killings in El-Arish<br />

A few weeks after this deadliest attack on<br />

Christians in years, an ISIS-affiliated group<br />

began to systematically target Christians<br />

in El-Arish, a city located just four hours<br />

from Cairo. Masked gunmen executed seven<br />

Christian men between January and February.<br />

Some were shot, others burned alive, but all<br />

of the killings occurred after the ISIS affiliate<br />

vowed to eliminate the Christian minority,<br />

calling them their “favorite prey.”<br />


The militants carried out this attack very carefully; they<br />

knew the details of the trip…its time, and ambushed<br />

the buses...”<br />

“One of the Christian men was 49-yearold<br />

Gamal Tawfiq Gares. On February 16,<br />

Gares was working his second job as a street<br />

vendor when two men approached him and<br />

his wife, asking him if he was Gamal Gares.<br />

Namea, Gares’ widow, told ICC, “My husband<br />

answered yes and then one of [the men]<br />

took out a gun from his clothes and shot my<br />

husband in the head.”<br />

Namea told ICC that people in the market<br />

did nothing until the gunmen left, but it was<br />

too late. “My five children and I didn’t go to<br />

our home in Arish. We received the body of<br />

my husband and fled…We left everything in<br />

Arish.”<br />

As you can imagine, to suddenly flee your<br />

home to save your life is extraordinarily stressful.<br />

Many of them found shelter in cramped,<br />

dirty housing, but had little food and no work.<br />

The government promised assistance, but has<br />

yet to follow through.<br />

April 9, <strong>2017</strong>: Palm Sunday<br />

Bombings<br />

In April, less than a month after the Arish families<br />

fled, two more churches were bombed on<br />

Palm Sunday at St. George’s Church in Tanta.<br />

An ISIS affiliate group detonated an explosive<br />

device inside the church during worship. Several<br />

found Raouf lying in a morgue.<br />

Ghattas Attallah wept as he remembered<br />

Palm Sunday. He and his son, Girgis, were<br />

selling palm branches at the doorway of the<br />

church when “the explosion occurred, the<br />

whole building shook, the glass smashed.” He<br />

said, “I rushed to the place of the explosion,<br />

the church door, and I found my son, Girgis,<br />

lying on the ground on his back in a pool of<br />

blood with the palm [branches] he was selling<br />

mixed with his blood. The shrapnel of the<br />

bomb penetrated his brain.”<br />

Girgis’ wife, Mariam, was at another church<br />

for mass when news of the explosion reached<br />

her. Immediately, she left the church and “ran<br />

St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church<br />

On Dec. 11, 2016, a suicide bomber killed a total of 29 people and injured<br />

47 others. This was the largest church attack in Egypt in recent history<br />

and ISIS claimed responsibility. Wikimedia Creative Commons image.<br />

Security camera footage captures the dust<br />

cloud moments after the bomb went off in<br />

St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church.<br />

The intentionality associated with the killings<br />

convinced many Christians in El-Arish<br />

that there was a kill list that the militants were<br />

following and the whole community wondered<br />

whose name was next.<br />

February <strong>2017</strong>: Arish<br />

Families Flee<br />

No one wanted to wait and see if they were<br />

next on the kill list, so the remaining Christian<br />

families fled from their homes. Over 355 families<br />

scattered to four areas in Upper Egypt:<br />

Ismailia, Port Said, El Qanara, and Cairo.<br />

hours later, a suicide bomber exploded his vest<br />

at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria. Between<br />

both explosions, at least 44 people were killed<br />

and hundreds more wounded.<br />

Phebi’s husband, Raouf, was at St. George’s<br />

when the bomb exploded. Phebi remembered<br />

that Raouf left particularly early for church<br />

that day. She was dressing her children when<br />

she heard the explosion. Immediately, she<br />

told ICC, her children screamed, “Papa, Papa!”<br />

Phebi raced to the church and began desperately<br />

searching for her husband’s body, but<br />

none of the bodies were Raouf’s. She left<br />

the church, fearing the worst, and eventually<br />

crying down the street,” trying to call both<br />

her husband and father-in-law. Her cousin<br />

discovered that her injured husband was at<br />

a local hospital. By the time she arrived at<br />

the hospital, she was too late. The hospital<br />

informed her that her husband died, so she<br />

said her goodbyes to his body in the morgue.<br />

May 6, <strong>2017</strong>: Eighth<br />

Christian Killed in El-Arish<br />

Several weeks later, an Arish Christian,<br />

Nabeel, who was struggling for work,<br />

decided that he could no longer stay with his<br />

26 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


family in Port Said.<br />

Without work, he<br />

couldn’t provide. He<br />

returned to El-Arish<br />

and risked opening<br />

his business again to<br />

earn money to send<br />

his family.<br />

On May 6, Nabeel<br />

was at his barbershop<br />

when masked gunmen<br />

found and shot him. His<br />

death ensured that no<br />

other Christian would<br />

return to El-Arish.<br />

May 26, <strong>2017</strong>:<br />

Minya Bus<br />

Attack<br />

Twenty days later, “10 masked [militants]<br />

in four 4x4 vehicles intercepted” a caravan of<br />

Christians headed to St. Samuel’s Monastery<br />

She left the<br />

church and<br />

“ran crying<br />

down the<br />

street,” trying<br />

to call both her<br />

husband and<br />

father-in-law.<br />



indiscriminately fired at<br />

the bus until they found<br />

a way onto the bus.<br />

The gunmen tried to<br />

force the Christian men<br />

to convert, but when<br />

they refused, the militants<br />

shot them. Siham<br />

remembers that they<br />

continued firing at the<br />

bus as they headed for<br />

the two trucks of day<br />

laborers.<br />

Once they reached<br />

the trucks, they tried<br />

to force the workers to<br />

convert and killed them<br />

when they refused.<br />

Then, the militants<br />

returned, set the bus on fire, and left.<br />

Siham lost her husband, brother, father-inlaw,<br />

brother-in-law, five-year-old niece, and<br />

fifteen-year-old nephew in the attack.<br />

The police said the church was not licensed<br />

and thus illegal. Church leaders sought legal<br />

assistance, but in the end, authorities said that<br />

the building could only be used as a community<br />

building. No religious rites were allowed.<br />

One Christian villager told ICC, “There are<br />

five big mosques in our village, but there isn’t<br />

any church to worship in although there are<br />

more than 60 Christian families in the village.”<br />

These Christian villagers have struggled for<br />

years to find a place to worship. In fact, some<br />

of the villagers were on the bus caravan to<br />

pray at St. Samuel’s. Without a place of worship<br />

at home, Christians looked elsewhere for<br />

a safe place to worship, but were caught in a<br />

vicious attack instead.<br />

Conclusion<br />

Despite the bombings and assassinations<br />

of Egypt’s Christians, fearful Christians still<br />

want to respond in love. One Christian’s<br />

statement summarizes so much of their spirit<br />

The aftermath of the bombing in St. Peter<br />

and St. Paul’s Church on Dec. 11, 2016.<br />

Coptic Orthodox Media Center photo.<br />

to pray, “and opened fire.” Approximately 35<br />

men, women, and children were killed. One<br />

source told ICC that “the militants carried<br />

out this attack very carefully; they knew the<br />

details of the trip…its time, and ambushed<br />

the buses.”<br />

Siham remembers how her husband got off<br />

the bus to see if it had broken down, but militants<br />

greeted him instead. “After he got out<br />

of the bus, he closed its door [and] masked<br />

gunmen saw my husband and shot him in<br />

the head, instantly killing him. When I saw<br />

him killed, I said, ‘Do your will, O God.’”<br />

After killing Siham’s husband, the militants<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


June <strong>2017</strong>: Church Closure<br />

In Egypt, churches must be licensed by<br />

the government. It is difficult for Christian<br />

churches to obtain a license, causing many<br />

Christians to gather in illegal places of worship.<br />

In Saft Al-Kharsa, the bishop filed a<br />

church license request in November 2016, but<br />

has received no response. In the meantime,<br />

congregants continued to use their building as<br />

a church, but in June <strong>2017</strong>, Christians arrived<br />

one day to find that the police had raided the<br />

church, thrown the church’s property into the<br />

street, and chained the door shut.<br />

and their obedience to live as foreigners to<br />

this world.<br />

“I want to say to those terrorists who killed<br />

our martyrs, ‘We forgive you and love you<br />

because our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of<br />

the world, came to redeem all of mankind…’<br />

Christ has [said]…love your enemies, do<br />

good to those who hate you, bless those who<br />

curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”<br />

Rather than seeking vengeance, one Coptic<br />

Christian told ICC, “We want to plant the love<br />

and tolerance inside our children from their<br />

childhood, so they can live in love and tolerance<br />

when they grow up.”<br />


Wael Youssef<br />

Suleiman Kaldas<br />

Faces of Egyptian Martyrs<br />

Gamal<br />

Tawfiq Gares<br />

Nabil<br />

Habib<br />

El-Arish<br />

Attack Victim<br />

On January 30, <strong>2017</strong>, Wael Youssef<br />

Suleiman Kaldas, age 37, was sitting outside<br />

of his corner store in El-Arish when two<br />

masked men approached. His wife, Nevin,<br />

was watching from inside the store. The men<br />

shot Kaldas five times while Nevin watched,<br />

killing him on the spot.<br />

Kaldas was the first of seven Christians<br />

targeted and killed in El-Arish by masked<br />

gunmen in early <strong>2017</strong>. A father of two boys<br />

at the time of his death, he worked hard every<br />

day to support his family. Kaldas and Nevin<br />

moved to El-Arish shortly after they were<br />

married in 2008. He got a job working for<br />

the town council of El-Arish, but also owned<br />

and ran a corner store to support his growing<br />

family.<br />

On March 1, <strong>2017</strong>, more than a month after<br />

his murder, Kaldas’ wife, Nevin, gave birth to<br />

a baby girl name Philomena.<br />

El-Arish<br />

Attack Victim<br />

On February 16, <strong>2017</strong>, Gamal Tawfiq<br />

Gares, age 49, was approached by two<br />

masked men at the table where he sold plastic<br />

slippers in El-Arish. The men pulled out a gun<br />

and shot him in the head, killing him instantly.<br />

Gares was one of the seven Christians targeted<br />

and killed in El-Arish by masked gunmen<br />

in early <strong>2017</strong>. Before becoming a victim<br />

of this brutal persecution, however, Gares was<br />

a father, husband, employee at a local school,<br />

and servant in his church.<br />

Gares and his wife moved to El-Arish a<br />

year after they were married in 1993 because<br />

Gares was given an administrative post at the<br />

Alsamaran Primary School. In El-Arish, they<br />

had six children. To support his large family,<br />

Gares sold plastic slippers every Thursday at the<br />

local market in El-Arish. He will be remembered<br />

as a kind man who had a strong relationship with<br />

the Lord and worked hard for his family.<br />

St. Peter & St. Paul’s<br />

Church Bombing Victim<br />

On December 11, 2016, Nabil Habib,<br />

age 48, was killed in the bombing of<br />

St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church in Cairo.<br />

Working as a guard for 20 years, he was<br />

known and loved by every member of the<br />

church.<br />

Habib, his wife Nadia, and their three children<br />

lived in a small house inside the church<br />

compound. According to Nadia, he loved the<br />

church where worked and worshiped so much<br />

that he told her on many occasions that he was<br />

willing to defend the church even with his<br />

“own blood.”<br />

Leaving behind three children, the memory<br />

of their loving father will remain with all of<br />

Habib’s children. His youngest, Fadi, now<br />

two years old, still cries at the door, searching<br />

for his father. For now, Nadia brings Fadi a<br />

picture of his father which has helped calm the<br />

grieving child.<br />

28 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Mariana<br />

Fahim Helmy<br />

Faces of Egyptian Martyrs<br />

Girgis<br />

Ghattas Attallah<br />

Nasef<br />

Mamdouh Ayad<br />

Fberonya<br />

Fahim Helmy<br />

St. Peter & St. Paul’s<br />

Church Bombing Victims<br />

On December 10, 2016, after shopping<br />

for new clothes for Christmas, Mariana<br />

Fahim Helmy, age 21, her sister Fberonya<br />

Fahim Helmy, age 19, and their mother Nahla<br />

stayed up past 2:00 a.m., talking and joking<br />

around. The next day, Nahla stayed home<br />

and rested. Her two daughters attended second<br />

mass at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church<br />

in Cairo when it was attacked by a suicide<br />

bomber. The two sisters did not survive.<br />

According to their parents, Nahla and<br />

Fahim, the sisters were inseparable. “My<br />

daughters were linked to each other,” Fahim<br />

told ICC. “They were together everywhere, at<br />

home and at church.”<br />

“A long time ago, I hoped to have a boy to<br />

bear my name after my death,” Fahim told<br />

ICC. “But now my daughters have made my<br />

name better than if I had a boy because I am<br />

the father of two martyrs. I am proud of that.”<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


St. Mark’s<br />

Church Bombing Victim<br />

On April 9, <strong>2017</strong>, Girgis Ghattas<br />

Attallah, age 36, was killed in the<br />

bombing of St. Mark’s Cathedral in<br />

Alexandria. Arriving at the church the night<br />

before, Attallah and his father, Ghattas, had<br />

arranged to sell palm fronds to worshipers<br />

at the church as they had done for many<br />

years on Palm Sunday.<br />

Attallah was known by friends and family<br />

as a kind man, a son of the church,<br />

with a strong relationship with the Lord.<br />

Survived by his wife, Mariam, and their<br />

six-year-old daughter, Demiana, Attallah<br />

will be desperately missed both as a spouse<br />

and provider for their family.<br />

“God has sent me comfort through my<br />

daughter Demiana,” Mariam told ICC.<br />

“When she sees me crying, she wipes my<br />

tears and says to me, ‘Why are you sad?<br />

Papa is happy in heaven.’”<br />

Minya Bus<br />

Attack Victim<br />

On May 26, <strong>2017</strong>, Nasef Mamdouh Ayad,<br />

age 30, left his home village of Deir<br />

El-Garnous in Minya to find work at a<br />

church bell factory at the Monastery of St.<br />

Samuel the Confessor. Nasef and the six<br />

other Christians he was traveling with were<br />

killed before reaching the monastery when<br />

their truck was attacked by ISIS militants.<br />

Leaving behind his wife, Nawal, two<br />

sons, Kirolos and Abanoub, and one daughter,<br />

Irene, Ayad was going to work at the<br />

factory to pay a debt he had incurred for an<br />

eye surgery Nawal received two days before<br />

his death.<br />

“My husband was a simple worker,” Nawal<br />

told ICC. “He worked hard to support us. He<br />

was a kind and humble man and I’m very<br />

happy that God has chosen him to be a martyr.<br />

I pray for those who killed my husband.<br />

May God guide them to His way.”<br />


Feature Article<br />

A<br />

Day<br />

in the<br />

Life<br />

The Luxor, Egypt train station.<br />

of an<br />

Egyptian<br />

Christian<br />

By William Stark<br />

Each day, Christians living in Upper (southern) Egypt face a difficult struggle to survive because they are<br />

Christian. The widespread discrimination and outright persecution they endure defines much of their lives,<br />

ranging from their children’s education to the menial jobs they work to support their families. The narrative<br />

below illustrates a single day in the life of one of these Christians. While fictional, it is also a composite of<br />

actual experiences and represents the day-to-day reality for millions of Christians in Egypt.<br />

When I woke up before the dawn, I<br />

realized that it was Saturday, the<br />

beginning of another work week.<br />

I had to get ready once again to<br />

head into town to look for a job for<br />

the day. I put on my clothes, doing<br />

so quietly in hopes of leaving the<br />

house before anyone else woke up.<br />

I especially didn’t want to wake<br />

my wife. If I did, she would remind<br />

me, as she always does, that we need money for our two younger<br />

children who are still in grade school. Managing to slip out unnoticed<br />

and thankful to have avoided that conversation again, I then thought<br />

about my other two older sons. They dropped out of high school last<br />

year after the violence. I remember them coming home and telling me<br />

they saw their teacher in the mob that raided our street. Even though<br />

the mob didn’t kill anybody—on our street at least—my kids refused to<br />

go back to school after that. Without further education, I guess they will<br />

now be resigned to a life of hard labor like me. The younger two were<br />

lucky they weren’t older during the violence. They still haven’t lost hope.<br />

It was still dark outside when I left. I took the longer route to the<br />

train station. I never go the shorter route anymore, at least since the<br />

violence. I always remember my old friend Ragy when I think about<br />

going that way. The memory still seems so fresh, even though a year<br />

has already passed since the mob killed him. He was a nice guy, never<br />

harmed anybody, but still, the mob didn’t care. All they saw was a guy<br />

worthy of killing because he was “unclean” – a Christian. They still call<br />

us that in the village.<br />

When I finally got to the station, I had to wait as the train was<br />

delayed, as usual. Sitting there on a bench, still thinking about Ragy<br />

and the violence last year, I remembered how I had tried to escape with<br />

my family. We didn’t get very far. The mobs were everywhere, going<br />

around the village, beating up any of us they saw. Sadly we had been<br />

forced to retreat back to the tiny, two-bedroom concrete box, crammed<br />

in a row of other concrete boxes, we call home. Fortunately, though, we<br />

remained unharmed…at least physically.<br />

Finally, the train came. Shaking off the bad memories and focusing<br />

on the task at hand, I jumped into the wall of people exiting the train. It<br />

30 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


An Egyptian day<br />

laborer works to repair<br />

concrete.<br />

was very crowded, as usual. After riding for 45<br />

minutes and sitting through several unscheduled<br />

stops, I finally arrived at my destination.<br />

I walked to the main street near the train<br />

station where all of the day laborers gather,<br />

waiting for someone, anyone, to come hire<br />

them for the day. As I waited, I remembered<br />

when I applied for a job at the village school<br />

as a janitor. Of course they rejected me when<br />

they discovered who I am and instantly knew<br />

my background. That job could have changed<br />

my life, and the lives of my kids, even with the<br />

pennies it would have paid.<br />

Dreaming about a life we would never have,<br />

someone in a beat-up pickup truck finally<br />

drove up, looking for laborers. I made sure<br />

not to show the inside of my wrist with its tattooed<br />

cross this time. All it would take is just<br />

one look and I’d be turned away for sure. But<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


I wasn’t picked anyway. The guy in the truck<br />

picked two other people who looked stronger.<br />

He had a tough job and didn’t want to waste<br />

his time hiring a skinny guy like me.<br />

I continued to wait. Hours went by and a few<br />

more cars and trucks came by, but I wasn’t hired<br />

by any of the people who came looking for workers.<br />

As noon came, the sun became blisteringly<br />

hot. It was clear that the day was shot and nobody<br />

else would come by looking for workers now.<br />

Resigned to another day without work and<br />

without pay, I walked sadly back to the train<br />

station. The train I took home wasn’t as crowded<br />

as the morning one at least.<br />

When I got back to the village, I didn’t want<br />

to go home because I didn’t want my wife to<br />

ask me for the money I still didn’t have for<br />

the children. Maybe the older children went to<br />

the local pickle factory today? After all, they<br />

get paid a few pennies for a day’s work. My<br />

wife hates it though. They always come back<br />

coughing from the strong fumes and acids<br />

used to accelerate the pickling process.<br />

Instead of going home, I went into a field<br />

and sat by the channel until sunset. When I<br />

finally went home, I saw my wife had saved<br />

some bits of yesterday’s meal for me…some<br />

warmed up, leftover brown beans and a piece<br />

of stale bread. But I was too depressed to eat,<br />

so I just wrapped it up, put it away and went<br />

to bed, hoping that tomorrow would be better.<br />

Maybe someone will even pick me up for<br />

a job. But I’m not fooling myself, because I<br />

know that it’s not likely. Even if I hide my<br />

tattoo, I think they still know somehow that<br />

I am a Christian, that I’m “unclean.” Still,<br />

I can’t give up…not while I still have life<br />

in me.<br />


Feature Article<br />

ICC: Building & Bandaging<br />

Hope House was created<br />

to provide education and<br />

skills-training for Christian<br />

families. Here, children are<br />

excited about learning at an<br />

after-school program.<br />

In the face of<br />

diverse sources of<br />

persecution, ICC<br />

cultivates creative<br />

and holistic<br />

assistance to<br />

serve persecuted<br />

Egyptian<br />

Christians.<br />

By Amy Penn<br />

<strong>Persecution</strong> cripples<br />

Egyptian Christians<br />

in all areas of their<br />

lives.<br />

There are the<br />

headline-grabbing<br />

attacks against<br />

Christians, such as<br />

church bombings,<br />

assassinations, and<br />

beheadings, but the day-to-day reality is<br />

perhaps more dangerous.<br />

Christians suffer from a lack of access<br />

to quality education, quality healthcare,<br />

food security, and job stability. Men and<br />

women, adults and children, all suffer<br />

every day regardless of age or gender.<br />

Job discrimination keeps Christians<br />

unemployed or in low-wage jobs. Children<br />

suffer from poor educational opportunities,<br />

so they are not prepared to compete for<br />

high-skill jobs. Women are frequently discriminated<br />

against, so any attacks that leave<br />

women as widows often ensure poverty<br />

and struggle. Legal discrimination prevents<br />

communities from worshipping because of<br />

church licensing issues. Law enforcement<br />

provides minimal protection for Christians<br />

who are already a vulnerable population.<br />

ICC addresses such varying sources<br />

of persecution with creative and holistic<br />

assistance that both relieves short-term<br />

needs and provides long-term development<br />

that can help Christians escape<br />

the vicious cycle of poverty and endure<br />

surprise attacks.<br />

Short-Term Relief<br />

Frequent attacks have given us numerous<br />

opportunities to provide short-term relief to<br />

Christians such as food, housing, and small<br />

business assistance. After militant extremists<br />

executed seven Christians in El-Arish and<br />

scattered 355 families to four other locations,<br />

for example, we provided food packages<br />

to 26 displaced Arish families in Port<br />

32 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Feature Article<br />

Said that have little food. We also found<br />

housing and paid for several months of rent<br />

for displaced Arish families living in Cairo.<br />

Now, these families have clean, safe, and<br />

private housing to restart their lives.<br />

In 2015, we provided the families of<br />

the 21 Egyptian martyrs killed in Libya<br />

with food aid as they sought safety from<br />

further attacks. They are very grateful.<br />

One family told us, “We thank ICC so<br />

much for visiting us, standing with us<br />

in these hard times, providing us with<br />

food packages and praying for us. We<br />

appreciate that very much.”<br />

Sustainability<br />

Because many attacks in Egypt result in<br />

the deaths of Christian men, widows are<br />

left to both grieve their husbands’ deaths<br />

and struggle to provide for their family’s<br />

immediate needs. Christian women<br />

are particularly vulnerable to continued<br />

poverty because of both their religion<br />

and their gender. We frequently use our<br />

Suffering Wives and Children fund to<br />

jumpstart small businesses for widows.<br />

Nadia’s husband, for example, was<br />

killed in the St. Peter’s Church bombing.<br />

As a church guard, Nabil not only provided<br />

a steady income, but also housing<br />

on the church property. Nadia lost that<br />

after the bombing. In 2016, two brothers<br />

could not find work in Egypt because of<br />

their faith and traveled to Libya. On their<br />

way, they were kidnapped and executed<br />

by ISIS. Their wives had nowhere to go.<br />

In 2015, a Christian man was killed in<br />

his village, leaving behind his pregnant<br />

wife, Mariam, with two children.<br />

We met with these widows, and many<br />

others, to find small businesses that<br />

were manageable and financially lucrative<br />

so that the widows could support<br />

their families. Nadia now has a home<br />

goods store, the brothers’ wives sell<br />

products from their goats, and Mariam<br />

has a sewing workshop.<br />

For these women, they have hope<br />

knowing that their small businesses, “will<br />

help [us] to earn money to support [our]<br />

children. [We] appreciate that so much.”<br />

Hope House<br />

We don’t only react to persecution incidents,<br />

however. Through Hope House<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Top Photo: Nadia’s inventory for her home<br />

goods stores and a picture of her husband<br />

who was killed in the December church<br />

bombings.<br />

Bottom Photo: Widows can sell the products<br />

from goats in order to provide for their<br />

families.<br />

“We thank ICC so much<br />

for visiting us...providing<br />

us with food packages<br />

and praying for us. We<br />

appreciate that very much.”<br />

and our child sponsorship program, we<br />

prepare Christian adults and children for<br />

stable jobs with training, education, and<br />

microfinance opportunities. These are<br />

proven, proactive, and effective strategies<br />

that break the cycle of poverty.<br />

Hope House is an education, vocational<br />

training, and microfinance center<br />

that provides Christians with the<br />

tools to succeed despite constant persecution.<br />

Hope House has 114 students<br />

enrolled in after-school education centered<br />

around English, reading and writing<br />

(Arabic), and computer skills. In a<br />

few short years, we can take Christian<br />

kids from the bottom of the heap to the<br />

top of the employment scale.<br />

Since December of last year, we<br />

have financed 11 different microfinance<br />

businesses in Upper Egypt alone.<br />

We work with the local churches to<br />

pick men and women who are godly<br />

and have great character. We give them<br />

money and training to start small businesses<br />

to break them out of the cycle of<br />

generational poverty.<br />

One woman, Sylvia, was able to pay<br />

back her loan in half the time because<br />

of her business’ success.<br />

Future plans for Hope House include<br />

a library, medical outreach, remote<br />

tutoring, and agriculture assistance.<br />

We also build into the lives of 73<br />

children in Upper Egypt by providing<br />

education, medical care, discipleship, and<br />

food security. You can partner with us to<br />

sponsor and change the life of a child.<br />

Children have dreams to become doctors,<br />

teachers, and engineers to provide for<br />

their families. Without assistance, those<br />

dreams are impossible.<br />

As persecution maintains its grip in<br />

Egypt, there are ways to help us fight for<br />

Egyptian Christians. Continued success<br />

requires your partnership and support.<br />

Change the life of a child by sponsoring<br />

one through our Child Sponsorship<br />

program. Raise awareness about the<br />

plight of Christians with your church,<br />

neighbors, and family. And, most importantly,<br />

pray.<br />

If you would like to partner with us,<br />

please make a donation today with<br />

“Egypt” in the memo.<br />


IDOP <strong>2017</strong><br />


I N T E R N A T I O N A L<br />



<strong>2017</strong><br />

11/5 or 11/12<br />

Register for an IDOP Kit<br />

or Request a Speaker:<br />

ICC’S IDOP <strong>2017</strong> KIT<br />

Register today to receive ICC’s free International Day of Prayer<br />

(IDOP) Resource Kit! Our kit includes tools and resources for<br />

your church and faith community:<br />

• Resource Guide<br />

• Prayer Bulletin Insert<br />

• Worship and Prayer<br />

PowerPoints<br />

• Sunday School Lesson<br />

• Sermons<br />

• Social Media Tools<br />

• Petition<br />

• Video<br />


Interested in having ICC’s president or a persecution expert<br />

speak at your church? Contact us today through the web<br />

address below.<br />

info.persecution.org/idop<strong>2017</strong><br />

or call 1-800-422-5441<br />


ICC is inviting missions-minded pastors to<br />

come with us to Egypt to see, touch, and feel<br />

persecution firsthand.<br />

For more information, visit<br />

info.persecution.org/pastors-trip<br />

or call 1-800-422-5441<br />

34 PERSECU ION.org<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Gifts<br />

for the<br />

Persecuted<br />

This Christmas season, remember<br />

our persecuted brothers and sisters.<br />

Watch for ICC’s Christmas Catalog<br />

next month that will highlight ways<br />

for you to join with us in serving<br />

around the world!<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />



You Can Help Today!<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />



ICC<br />

PO BOX 8056<br />

SILVER SPRING, MD 20907<br />




800-ICC-5441<br />



Provide now for a future gift to ICC<br />

by including a bequest provision in<br />

your will or revocable trust. If you<br />

would like more information on giving<br />

to ICC in this way, please give<br />

us a call at 1-800-ICC-5441.<br />

Remember the young<br />

generation of Christians<br />

in Egypt in your prayers.<br />

If you would like to partner<br />

with us, please make<br />

a donation today with<br />

“Egypt” in the memo.<br />

MEMBER<br />

© Copyright <strong>2017</strong> ICC, Washington, D.C., USA.<br />

All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce all<br />

or part of this publication is granted provided<br />

attribution is given to ICC as the source.<br />

International Christian Concern (ICC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) (all donations tax-deductible).<br />

ICC makes every effort to honor donor wishes in regards to gifts. Occasionally, situations<br />

arise where a project is no longer viable. ICC will then redirect those donated funds to the<br />

fund most similar to the donor’s original wishes. ICC uses 7.5 percent of each restricted<br />

donation to carry out the mission of its segregated funds.<br />

facebook.com/persecuted<br />


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