Monday, April 2, 2012

Church leader sentenced to prison in Egypt

Please keep Christians in Egypt
in your prayers. 
On March 4, a court sentenced Rev. Makarios Boulos to six months' imprisonment for a minor violation of buildings regulations, reports Middle East Concern.

Rev. Makarios is a church leader at St. George's Church in El Marinab, Aswan province. On September 30, the church building was badly damaged by a Muslim mob after false rumours spread that the church had failed to secure planning permission for renovation work.

No perpetrators of the arson attack have been brought to justice. In addition, although the ruling military council ordered in October that damage be repaired at government expense, the governor has so far failed to implement this.

Rev. Makarios' recent sentencing relates to a discrepancy between the terms of the building permit and actual work being undertaken. According to Compass Direct News, his lawyer has objected that, under Egyptian law, it is contractors and not property owners who are responsible for permit violations. Coptic activists also note that double standards are used when applying construction laws to churches. An appeal has been submitted.

Please pray!
  • Pray that the church building in El Marinab will be rebuilt and reopened.
  • Pray that the rights to a fair trial and to freedom of expression will be respected for all Egyptians. 
  • Pray that all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.
  • Pray that Egyptian Christians will exemplify the love of God through consistent love and prayer for those who persecute them (Matthew 5:43-48).
For more on the trials Christians face in Egypt, please visit our Egypt Country Report.

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