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12/19/2018 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Criminal charges are pending against Egyptian police officer Rabi Mustapha Khalifa after he shot and killed two Coptic Christians last week. The prosecution has charged him with premeditated murder while using his service weapon. The officer served as a church guard and thus was officially tasked with protecting the safety of Christians. The criminal charges were filed against him following a widespread international outcry and domestic protests.

According to Egyptian media, the police officer has now confessed to the crime but has not revealed a motive except that it was sparked following a verbal altercation. Initially, before the incident had gained widespread attention, the police claimed that the Christians tried to grab his gun during a fight. However, CCTV footage available immediately after the incident showed that the officer had walked over to the Christians with his gun pulled, and that they were killed while standing in the street. The prosecution is now using the CCTV footage as evidence.

This is not the first persecution incident involving a police officer against Christians. Many Christians have reported intimidation, harassment, and the threat of violence by the authorities. It is common for authorities to be reported as having enabled the aggressors in incidents such as mob attacks against churches seeking legalization. For many Christians, it is not surprising that a police officer would take this to the next step and participate in the violence which Egypt’s Christians experience.

For interviews with Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: