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Report: Christian in Egypt: ‘They Try to Kill Us’

January 28, 2010

Dana Lewis with Fox News reporting:

Egyptian Maher El-Gowhary and his 15 year old daughter Dina never pray twice at the same church, never stay longer than a month in any one apartment. They are constantly under threat, always on the run because they converted to Christianity in a largely Muslim country.

(…)

Several religious fatwas have been issued for “spilling his blood” after Maher asked an Egyptian Court to legally recognize his conversion, so he can one day be buried as a Christian and so his daughter won’t be forced into a marriage by her Muslim mother.

The court ruled a legal conversion to Christianity would threaten public order. His lawyer told us it’s a dangerous double standard because in Egypt a Christian can convert to the Muslim faith in a week, but a Muslim cannot convert to the Christian faith.

Ten percent of Egypt is Christian, largely the Coptic Christians who increasingly say they face daunting discrimination and even death.

(…)

The U.S. State Department reports respect of religious freedom in Egypt is declining, Christians are denied Government jobs, Priests are threatened and harassed, Christians are increasingly attacks in what State describes as “a climate of impunity that encourages violence.”

In some cases authorities turn a blind eye to attacks on Christians, in other cases there is evidence police sparked the attacks.

(…)

Her father Mayer says he can’t stay in Egypt anymore. He and his daughter are in such grave danger we can’t report where they are in Egypt now, or where they are planning on moving tomorrow.

In recent days the two met with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in Cairo. They asked for refugee status to get out of Egypt.

A source at the Commission say’s its a complicated matter because Dina has a Muslim mother and there are legal issues, but their request is being considered.

The Commission source also says because of religious discrimination in Egypt, last year the State Department down graded Egypt to being on a watch list. This year it could potentially be downgraded further to a Country of particular concern. That means the U.S. might even consider sanctions against a Country which receives some 2 billion dollars in U.S. aid every year.

As I write this Dina and her father are packing, moving to another area of Egypt. Out of money. And running of out hope.

Full report here.

See also:
Report: Extremist landscape in Egypt is where violence takes hold

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