Six Egyptian Christians Sentenced to Three Years Imprisonment for Not Observing Islamic Holiday. WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 26, 2009) â€“ International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Egyptian authorities recently sentenced six Christian brothers to three years in prison for opening their cafÃ© during the Muslim fasting season of Ramadan last September.
Egyptian authorities raided the family-owned café and assaulted the Christians before arresting them for violating the Islamic holiday and "resisting and assaulting the authorities."
"The attack was unprovoked and motivated by religious zeal on the side of the Muslim members of the police force, and was video-taped," according to a report by the United Copts of the Great Britain. Despite viewing this video evidence, the judge ignored the unlawful actions of the police and sentenced the brothers to three years of imprisonment with hard labor. The video can be viewed here:
The decision to detain Christians for running their business in the month of Ramadan is unprecedented in Egypt. Though Egypt claims to be a moderate Islamic country, their decision in this case actually follows the principles of the radical brand of Wahhabi Islam that is enforced by the Saudi Arabian government.
The brothers have appealed their case but they still remain in custody
ICC’s Regional for Africa, Jonathan Racho, stated, "It is outrageous that the Egyptian authorities punish Christians for violating an Islamic holiday. It is unacceptable for Egyptian authorities to expect Christians to observe Ramadan. This case is a clear example of the systematic and growing discrimination Egyptian Christians face with the further radicalization of Muslims in Egypt. We call upon the Egyptian authorities to immediately release these Christians."
Egypt is a major recipient of foreign aid from the United States. US officials must pressure the Egyptian government to release the six Christians who are unjustly imprisoned.
Please call the Egyptian embassies in your countries and politely ask the Egyptian officials to release the Christians. Please pray for the safety and release of the brothers.
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