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In February, a Coptic school teacher named Gad Younan (42) filmed on his phone a group of Coptic youths mockingly imitating Islamic State fighters. Subsequently, his phone was lost and found by Muslims who watched the footage and filed a complaint with police.

On 7 April, Younan was arrested and charged with ‘contempt of religion’ proving that – unlike many Western politicians – masses of Muslims really do see IS as representing the religion of Islam.

Over the next three days, Muslims rioted in Younan’s village, pelting Coptic homes and businesses with bricks while chanting Islamic slogans. For the Copts, it was three days of sheer terror.

On 9 April the parents of four of the Coptic youths in the video handed their sons over to the police in the hope it would appease the Muslims, while Coptic priest Rev Azer Tawadros (65) appealed to the government for help. Security forces arrived on 12 April and restored order.

A ‘reconciliation’ meeting was held on 17 April in which it was affirmed that Islam is a religion of ‘tolerance and forgiveness’. So that peace might be restored, the Copts agreed to expel Gad Younan from the village. Younan and the four youths remain in police custody as a court considers their cases. Christian security under Islam is tenuous indeed.

Sources: Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin, World Watch Monitor

 Prayer Points

  • Ask the Lord to provide this nation with leaders who love justice and seek mercy. Pray Gad and the youths will have the Lord’s protection; pray for their release.
  • Ask the Lord to provide for and direct the decisions of Gad and his family.
  • Pray for Egypt’s long-suffering, persecuted Christians. Pray they will rejoice in the opportunity to grow in Christ-likeness through the ongoing opposition they face.