Posted on 11th March 2013
Greetings in the name of Jesus, Prince of Peace.
On 22nd February we requested prayer following the arrest on 10th February of Sherif, an Egyptian Christian businessman, in Benghazi. Sherif remains detained. A number of other Christians were arrested in the following days, including four Egyptians and three non-Arab expatriates who were working as language teachers or businessmen, each of whom knew Sherif in business or social contexts.
We regret to report that one of the Egyptians, Ezzat Hakim Atalla Abdel-Malak, died in detention yesterday (10th March). A few days ago he reported having severe chest pains. He was taken to a hospital and received some treatment before being returned to the detention facility. However, this treatment proved insufficient. His body is understood to show extensive bruising caused by physical abuse whilst detained.
Recall that Sherif runs a bookshop in Benghazi. The stock includes Christian books, intended for sale to the many expatriate Arabic-speaking Christians living and working in Benghazi and the surrounding areas. He, and the others detained, have been accused of proselytising, although no formal charges have yet been made against any of them.
Christians supporting those detained and their families request our prayers that:
a. Ezzet’s widow and two teenage children will know the peace and comfort of Jesus
b. Sherif and the others detained will know the presence and peace of Jesus each day, and be released soon
c. Members of their families will know the close presence of Jesus
d. All involved will know the healing touch of Jesus, both physically and psychologically
e. Those supporting these Christians will know the Spirit’s guiding wisdom
f. All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.
May be circulated to general mailing lists, outside organizations, as well as to the press for publication citing “Middle East Concern” as the source of the information.