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A Christian woman who was arrested along with her family at the Cairo International Airport in December was granted bail on January 24, according to a January 27 report from Compass Direct. When Zainab Said Abel-Aziz (24) -- who goes by the Christian name of Martha Samuel Makkar -- converted to Christianity from Islam in 2003, she and her husband endured serious threats and harassment from both Egyptian police and family members. Longing to flee these assaults, Martha obtained a passport issued in her Christian name and made plans to escape the country along with her family. However, authorities apprehended them as they were preparing to board a flight to Russia on December 13. Martha was charged with possessing forged documents and was taken to the El-Nozha police station along with her two children, ages two and four. Her husband, Fadl Thabet (32), was taken to the National Security Office in Alexandria, Somoha District for questioning and was later released on January 19. Officials handed the children over to the care of family friends before moving Martha to Al-Qanata prison where she was reportedly sexually assaulted by officials and mistreated by other inmates. After being granted bail, she was allowed to return home to her husband and children pending trial.

Pray that the charges brought against Martha will be dropped. Pray that this family will no longer be harassed for their faith in Jesus. Pray that Christians in Egypt will put their hope in the Lord as the One who upholds their cause (Psalm 146).

For more information on how Christians suffer in Egypt, go to the Egypt Country Report.

Current Ministry Project

VOMC works with international partners to provide a safe place of refuge, counsel and discipleship for Christians from Muslim backgrounds who were forced to flee their homes due to religious pressure from their families, and/or have experienced ostracization from others in their communities because of their identity in Christ.

Project Fund: Underground Church

Country Information


106,437,241 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Egyptian (99.7), other (0.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (90), Christianity (10)

President Abdelfattah Said El-Sisi (2014)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system based on Napoleonic civil and penal law, Islamic religious law, and vestiges of colonial-era laws

Source: World Factbook

Pray for Egypt

Pray on behalf of those who are facing economic and social challenges because of their Christian faith. Ask the Lord to provide for their spiritual and practical needs – further strengthening and emboldening them so they can effectively share the message of the Gospel with others in their communities. May the hearts of those who hear it be open and receptive to the wonderful truths contained in God’s Word.


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Egypt News

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    Photo: VOMC

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    A shaded path leading to a church entry
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    Photo: Flickr / jipolo (cc)

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    The Coptic church traces its presence in Egypt back to the first century.
    Photo: Flickr / Edgardo W. Olivera (cc)

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    Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt
    Photo: Wikipedia / Ahmad Badr (cc)

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