Christian persecution watchdog Open Doors USA is seeking prayers for the welfare and spiritual condition of a former Christian man from Egypt who converted back to Islam after being subjected to extreme physical torture.
The man, named Mohamed Hegazy, became a Christian back in 2007 and even changed his name. But Hegazy endured years of persecution because of his conversion, and he was even brutally tortured when he was in jail, according to the Gospel Herald.
He was arrested in 2013 for reportedly inciting sectarian activity, and was only released in June this year on the grounds of false or expired charges. Despite his release, Hegazy was never really free from his persecution. Sometime in July, he finally broke down and publicly reverted to Islam.
Emily Fuentes of Open Doors tells Mission News Network that they are not certain whether Hegazy's decision to revert to Islam was willingly done or forced.
"There's been cases like this before in other countries where someone might do that just to get out of the situation, or just to calm things down even though they still believe in Christ and have to live as secret believers," she says.
Whatever the case, Fuentes says it's very important for believers Christians from all walks of life to unite and pray for Hegazy. People should not condemn Hegazy for breaking down from all the persecution he received, adds Fuentes, but show concern for his spiritual wellbeing.
"We know it's vital to be praying for this man, especially because he's gone through so much," she says. "It's really about strengthening Christians, meeting them where they're at where persecution materialises to help them stand strong in their faith throughout their life."
There are only 10 percent of Christians in Egypt, and the rest of the 90 million population are predominantly Muslim. Open Door USA's World Watch List of 50 countries even listed Egypt as the 22nd country where Christians face the most persecution.