Date: March 29, 2013
Amir Ayad in the hospital after his assault. (Image courtesy MidEast Christian News)
Egypt (MNN) ― Things are taking a turn for the worse in Egypt.
"I think people should be watching very closely the situation in Egypt, as it regards religious freedom," says Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs USA.
According to a report from MidEast Christian News, Christians and moderate Muslims were protesting outside Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo when they were taken by hardline Islamic radicals to a nearby mosque. Radicals then proceeded to torture the protestors for hours.
"They were abused and tortured inside that mosque...and then sort of left for dead," says Nettleton.
One of the victims, Coptic Christian Amir Ayad, spoke to MidEast Christian News from a hospital bed.
"They accompanied me to one of the mosques in the area, and I discovered the mosque was being used to imprison demonstrators and torture them," Ayad told MidEast Christian News.
According to a report from Copts United--a daily electronic newspaper focusing on issues facing Coptic Christians in Egypt, Ayad said he was kidnapped by the Muslim Brotherhood and dragged into the mosque. Ayad is reportedly suffering from a skull fracture, bleeding in his right eye, and birdshot injuries.
"There are several interesting things about this particular story, but I think what it says about the overall condition in Egypt is really the concern," says Nettleton.
"The fact that people would be taken from a protest and tortured I think is a very concerning sign of what direction things are going."
In a report published yesterday, human rights watchdog Amnesty International blasted Morsi's government for its apathy toward persecuted Christians.
Nettleton says it'll be interesting to see how seriously Egyptian police take this attack.
"Are they actually going to try to find the people who captured and tortured these Christians and other protestors, or will they sort of just let this go by?" he questions.
Ask the Lord to protect His people in Egypt, and pray for the country's leadership.
"Pray that God will bring good things out of this," Nettleton says.
You can also help by reaching out to government officials. Earlier this month, the U.S. gave Egypt $250 million in aid, following Morsi's promises of political and economic reform. However, as Amnesty International points out in its report, authorities have taken no actions on behalf of persecuted Coptic Christians. Last year, U.S. President Barack Obama promised Egypt would receive $1 billion in U.S. assistance.
"We don't want to pay people to torture our Christian brothers and sisters. Maybe these aid dollars need to be tied to some serious progress on some of these human rights issues," Nettleton suggests.