Egypt: Christian Imprisoned for Blasphemy

Friday, August 28, 2015

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - An Egyptian Christian who was arrested earlier this month for allegedly evangelizing Muslims in Cairo could be held indefinitely on bogus blasphemy charges, according to Morning Star News.

Medhat Ishak, a 35-year-old Christian from Ebid village in Minya Governorate, was arrested on Aug. 7 while handing out Bibles to Muslims outside the El-Arab Mall. Mall security turned Ishak over to Egypt's national police who then arrested him for evangelism, but the next day the charge was changed to "defamation of a revealed religion," i.e., Islam, and Ishak was held for 15 days.

Ishak's attorney, Rafik Rafaat, said that under Egyptian law there is no criminal charge as "evangelism" and that distribuitng Bibles does not blaspheme Islam.
"The word 'blasphemy' means that he was insulting the other religion[Islam], but he didn't do that, and he didn't talk about Islam or prophets or anything like that to be accused of blasphemy. So, now we are surprised that the attorney general accused him of blasphemy when he didn’t commit any act of blasphemy."
Ishak's arrest was the second arrest in a month of a Christian evangelizing in Egypt. In July, three Christians were arrested for handing out small bags of dried dates in Alexandria during Ramadan. In addition to the dates -- a snack Muslims often eat when breaking the Ramadan daytime fast -- the bags contained a statement about God’s love and his omniscient nature.

Muslims in Egypt are allowed to hand out (Islamic) religious literature and Qurans in public places while Christians are restricted, or even arrested, for doing the same thing.