Egypt Ex-Muslim And Husband In Hiding; Violence Kills Two

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

By Worthy News Middle East Service

CAIRO, EGYPT (Worthy News) -- An ex-Muslim who converted to Christianity and her Christian husband were in hiding Tuesday, April 28, amid threats from family members and police, the latest in a series of attacks against Coptic Christians this month, in which at least two people were killed, several sources said.

Egyptian police detained Raheal Henen Mussa, formally known as Samr Mohamed Hansen, April 13, apparently for converting to Christianity and marrying a Coptic Christian man, identified as Sarwat George Ryiad, said the Voice of the Copts organization.

"Ryiad was arrested...on her way home from work. Raheal worked in a hair dressing salon in Cairo," the group added in comments monitored by Worthy News.

Mussa’s family took her from police custody on Sunday, April 19, but she escaped from them on Tuesday, 21, in Cairo and fled with her husband, Christians said.


This is not the first time a convert has been targeted, Voice of the Copts, added. "Last December the Voice of the Copts had reported the story of a woman named Martha who was arrested at the Cairo airport while attempting to flee Egypt."

News of threats against Mussa came on the heels of reports that four Muslim gunmen opened fire on a group of Coptic Christians as they were leaving church in the southern Egyptian governorate of Menya, killing two and wounding one.

The incident took place on Saturday night, April 18, as Coptic Christians were celebrating Easter in a church vigil. Coptic and Orthodox Christians marked Easter on Sunday, April 19, a week later than their Catholic and Protestant counterparts.

Copts account for about 10 percent of Egypt's 80 million population.