Violence erupts in Egypt and Archbishop Mouneer requests prayer:
Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I do request your urgent prayers as the situation here in Cairo is very inflamed. Many Christians demonstrated after the incident of the burning of a church building in Mari Nab near Aswan (Egypt). The demonstrations started peacefully as the people were requesting that investigations for the incidents of burning and demolishing churches would be completed and the new law for building churches, that was promised four months ago, would be passed.
This evening it turned to be very violent between demonstrators and the military. More than 20 people were killed and more than 100 were injured.
Tomorrow there will be a large meeting for the House of Bishops of the Coptic Orthodox Church and political leaders will have a separate meeting to discuss a way out of this very difficult situation. I would appreciate your prayers for our beloved country.
We will hold prayer meetings tomorrow and I hope that I can meet with Muslim religious leaders in order to discuss a way forward for the situation.
Thank you for your prayers.
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt
with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
President Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican
Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East
Guardian article is here.
I’ve come to this story late, the Daily Mail carries the full article.
A Christian pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani, aged 35 and the father of two children, has been sentenced to death for apostasy, a crime for which he was jailed two years ago. But this savage punishment is far worse even than it seems. For Nadarkhani is deemed to have committed apostasy merely because he has Islamic ancestry. Whether he was ever actually a practising Muslim was not even established. The Washington Post reported:
‘The 11th branch of Iran’s Gilan Provincial Court has determined thatNadarkhani has Islamic ancestry and therefore must recant his faith in Jesus Christ. Iran’s supreme court had previously ruled that the trial court must determine if Youcef had been a Muslim before converting to Christianity.
‘However, the judges, acting like terrorists with a hostage, demanded that he recant his faith in Christ before even taking evidence. The judges stated that even though the judgment they have made is against the current Iranian and international laws, they have to uphold the previous decision of the 27th Branch of the Supreme Court in Qom.’
Now the Iranian authorities have claimed he is to be executed not for apostasy at all but for a slew of other crimes. As CNN reports:
‘Gholomali Rezvani, the deputy governor of Gilan province, where Nadarkhani was tried and convicted, accused Western media of twisting the real story, referring to him as a “rapist.” A previous report from the news agency claimed he had committed several violent crimes, including repeated rape and extortion. “His crime is not, as some claim, converting others to Christianity,” Rezvani told Fars. “He is guilty of security-related crimes.”
‘In a translated Iranian Supreme Court brief from 2010, however, the charge of apostasy is the only charge leveled against Nadarkhani. “Mr. Youcef Nadarkhani, son of Byrom, 32-years old, married, born in Rasht in the state of Gilan is convicted of turning his back on Islam, the greatest religion the prophesy of Mohammad at the age of 19,” reads the brief.’
‘… “No one is executed in Iran for their choice of religion,” [Rezvani] added. “He is a Zionist and has committed security-related crimes.” ‘