Egypt Detains Prominent Christian Convert

 

By BosNewsLife Middle East Service

Christian
Bishoy Armia Boulous has been detained.


CAIRO, EGYPT (BosNewsLife)-- One of Egypt's most prominent converts to Christianity faced another day behind bars Wednesday, December 11, after prosecutors ordered his detention for allegedly "inciting religious strife".

Bishoy Armia Boulous, a journalist and activist, made headlines in 2008 when he lobbied to have his religion changed from Islam on his national identification card.

The 31-year-old Christian, still formally known by his Muslim name, Mohammed Hegazy, was reportedly arrested last Wednesday, December 4, at a cafe in the city of Minya, 260 kilometers (161 miles) south of Cairo, the capital.

The prosecution office in the area ordered him detained for 15 days for questioning on suspicion of inciting "chaos and sectarian strife", the state-run MENA news agency reported.

He is also suspected of "transmitting a false image of persecution of Egypt's Copts". Armia Boulous allegedly filmed police stations and churches attacked by Islamists in August.

HUNDREDS KILLED

The attacks began after security forced killed as many as hundreds of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Security officials said he had a camera and "four flash drives", data storage devices for computers, when they detained him.

He was working for The Way TV, a Coptic Christian-owned, U.S.-based Christian television channel that broadcasts into Egypt via satellite, according to Egyptian officials.

Local Christians said however they fear the young man is being tortured amid a wider crackdown on Christian converts in the Islamic Middle East nation.

Dozens of churches and other Christian properties have been attacked and torched by Islamists. They accused the Christian minority of supporting Morsi's overthrow by the military. Copts comprise roughly 10 percent of Egypt's 85 million people, and at least dozens have been killed in recent years in attacks and clashes, according to church groups and Western diplomats.

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