Guest / Limited Access /

In a late October crackdown, state security police arrested and tortured a Christian couple from a Muslim background. Police also arrested and mistreated 20 other Egyptian citizens, many of whom are Christian converts. Authorities accused them of forging Christian identity papers for former Muslims.

By mid-November, 17 of the 22 were out on bail.

Police arrested the couple in Alexandria on October 18. Two days later, police transferred the two to central Cairo's El-Mosky police station, where they were beaten, denied food, and hung by their arms. Others arrested in October were reportedly beaten, tortured, or raped.

Egypt's constitution guarantees religious freedom. Christian citizens who want to convert to Islam are free to adopt Muslim names and change their official religious identities. But Muslims who become Christians often face arrest, torture, and threats. Islamic law demands that unrepentant apostates be executed.

Many converts have tried to change their religious status by bypassing government channels, leaving themselves open to the charge of falsifying official documents.

A group of former Muslims who have converted to Christianity issued an anonymous declaration from Cairo on October 26.

"We are between the jaws of the constitution and the [Islamic] legislation," the Christian converts stated. "The Egyptian government … has deprived us of one of our basic legal rights."


Related Elsewhere:

More articles from Egypt are available on our Egypt page.

More persecution articles are on our persecution page.

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only
Top 10 News Stories, 2003
The events, people, and ideas of the past year that Christianity Today's news editors believe have shaped, or will significantly shape, evangelical life, thought, or mission.
RecommendedI Went From Fighting in a Cage to Living in a Hut
I Went From Fighting in a Cage to Living in a Hut
How an MMA fighter found Jesus—and discovered his calling in the Congo.
Trending‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
Islamic extremism now has a rival, according to 2017 World Watch List.
Editor's PickWomen’s March Sets Out to Exclude 40 Percent of American Women
Women’s March Sets Out to Exclude 40 Percent of American Women
What pro-life feminists actually have in common with their pro-choice counterparts.
Christianity Today
Ex-Muslims Harrassed in Egypt
hide thisJanuary January

In the Magazine

January 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.