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Persecuted Egyptian Christians see place of worship torched

January 26, 2024 by Girgis in Persecuted Christians in Egypt

This past Christmas, in Monsha’at Zaafaranah, Christians set up a tent to gather under and celebrate the birth of Jesus. The village doesn’t have its own church and usually believers must travel great distances to attend a service in a neighboring community. The tent was decorated for the event and there was great joy pulsing through the congregation. Then Muslim extremists arrived.

They set fire to the tent and began chanting slurs against the Christians. One believer who was in attendance says, “They prevented us from celebrating Christmas. We didn’t do anything to harm anyone. We are very peaceful. What did we do to make all this happen to us? Why is there so much hatred towards us?”

None who burned the tent down were arrested or held accountable for their actions.

This isn’t the first time a Christmas service has been disrupted in Monsha’at Zaafaranah. In 2019, after a Christmas Eve service in the village’s church, extremists gathered and broke into the building. When the police arrived, the extremists chanted that they wanted the building permanently closed, and that Christianity had no place in their village.

Shockingly, the police delivered on the extremists’ demands and evicted two priests in addition to closing down the church.

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Reflecting on these two events separated by four years, Malak Mahrous, a former resident of Monsha’at Zaafaranah and a lawyer in the region, says, “Because these attackers have not been punished by the law, these perpetrators believe that they are not subject to authorities. The victims feel immense injustice and oppression at the closing and burning of their churches. These events will continue if these attackers are never stopped.”

In Luke 6:22, it says, “Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.” We think of our targeted brothers and sisters in Monsha’at Zaafaranah. They are living out Christ’s words of being hated, excluded and insulted. But they haven’t lost faith. They continue to meet and worship, no matter the persecution they face.

Join us now in prayer for the Christians living in Monsha’at Zaafaranah.

Lord, these villagers have experienced persecution many times. Their place of worship was broken into, closed down and now set fire to. Yet they still have a desire to meet and praise You. We ask that You continue to bless them with resilience and reward their faith. May their testimony speak to the extremists around them—may it stir in their hearts and may their eyes be opened to the love that is You. Amen.

Photo Caption: A representative image of a persecuted Christian from Monsha’at Zaafaranah

About the authors
Girgis and Tim Dustin write for Global Christian Relief where they share stories of persecution out of Egypt and the rest of the world. Get the latest blogs and prayer requests at

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