02/06/2020 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – An Egyptian Christian imprisoned on blasphemy charges remains incarcerated, although he was due for release on January 22nd. Abd Adel Bebawy was sentenced to three years in jail in 2018, six months after he was arrested in his home village of Minbal. A Facebook post on his profile had motivated extremist Muslims to attack the homes of several Christians. Bebawy’s family was displaced from the village, and still cannot return.
Bebawy’s family had visited him in jail just days prior to his scheduled release, and everyone had the understanding that he was to be released without any issue. However, the day came and went. A group of other prisoners scheduled for release that week gained freedom, but Bebawy remained in jail. The family was told that he cannot be released because of unstable conditions in the country and that Bebawy is being kept in jail to save him and keep the environment calm.
Egypt is an officially Islamic and authoritarian country. Christians are frequently targeted for violent incidents and subjected to discrimination. Free speech does not exist in Egypt, and Christians who speak openly of their faith or even about Islam do so at great personal risk. Though the government is able to control many aspects of society, very few efforts have been made to protect Christians in their day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, victim-blaming is commonplace throughout Egyptian society.
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