24 OCTOBER 2005
On 24 October 2005, Ezzat Habib died after being purposefully hit by a taxi while crossing the street in Cario, Egypt.
The taxi, which had veered towards Ezzat before careening away, also hit his son Ibram and a friend who was with them. The three were rushed to the hospital for treatment of their injuries; Ezzat with internal bleeding and a broken skull, his son Ibram with bruising and lower back pain, and their friend with a broken leg. Despite undergoing surgery for his injuries, Ezzat died the next day.
This was no accident. The Habib family had been threatened frequently by neighbours and Egypt’s national security police for hosting Christian meetings in their home and sharing the gospel with Muslims.
In June 2003, Ezzat was arrested for “disturbing the neighbourhood” and held for five days. He was put in an underground cell that was so narrow he couldn’t sit down, and he was physically and sexually abused by the police officers. Through their torment, Ezzaz never rejected his Lord.
After his release, Ezzat and his family continued hosting fellowship in their home. Soon after, their phone line was cut, the front door blocked in from the outside, and two trees in their yard were cut down, smashing through their apartment window.
A police officer told the family, “Didn’t I tell you to stop doing your meetings? Look what is happening to you.”
In spite of the Habib family’s grief over Ezzat’s death and the ongoing harassment they face, Ibram and the remaining family resolved to continue their house fellowship. They had seen Ezzat stand firm in his faith, even unto death; they were determined to do the same.
As we remember Ezzat’s life and tragic death today, please pray for the many other Egyptian believers who face constant threats for living out their Christian faith.