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Friday, 20 September 2013

Christians Forced to Pay Muslim Brotherhood for Safety

Christians in the city of Dalga, in Egypt, have been forced to pay a tax, called jizya, to the Muslim Brotherhood to prevent attacks by the group. The nearly 20,000 Christians in Dalga lived in peace with their Muslim neighbors until President Morsi was removed from office on July 3. Since then, Christians have had to pay the Muslim Brotherhood anywhere from 200 to 1,000 Egyptian pounds (£18 - £90; $US30 to $US150) per day to prevent attacks by the group’s Islamist members.

Christians report that neither police nor government officials nor the Egyptian army will protect Christians in the area. More than 150 Christian families have fled Dalga because they could not pay the jizya tax, which is now being required of non-Muslims in other areas as well. On Sept. 12, Emad Lotfy Demian, a 50-year-old husband and father of five, and his cousin Medhat Demian, a 37-year-old husband and father of three, were murdered by members of the Muslim Brotherhood after refusing to pay a jizya of 10,000 pounds (£900; $US1,500).

As those of us who are also disciples of Jesus remember our brothers and sisters in Christ, in Egypt, let us pray for an end to this despicable situation in a land in which unskilled workers (which would account for the majority of those who would claim to be Christians) earn as little as £10; $US16 per day!  Let us also be much in prayer for the families of those murdered by extreme Islamists, for whatever reason; and for the current interim government, that a peaceful solution will be found.

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