Three Christians from Egypt are currently seeking refuge in Cyprus after they fled their Muslim-dominated nation because of the brutal persecution they had experienced because of their faith.
Egyptian Coptic Christian Maher Elgohary, his daughter Dina and their friend, Rania, are appealing for protection and a safe home from the government of Cyprus after escaping years of persecution in their homeland, the Cyprus Mail reported.
"Please, (Cypriot authorities) we beg you for your protection and mercy," Maher was quoted in the report as saying. "We want to have a relaxed life, to start actually living and not to be persecuted for what we believe."
"We are asking that you keep us safe, that you don't let anyone harm us and that we can finally have a place to call home," he added.
The Coptic Christian man was subjected to physical abuse in Egypt for converting from Islam to Christianity some 20 years ago. He said he had to practice his faith in secret to avoid further persecution.
Just a month ago, three men broke into Maher's home and threatened the lives of his family if he did not follow their instruction. Maher was forced to hold up signs denouncing his Christian faith and saying he and his family had found Islam.
Dina, Maher's 22-year-old Christian daughter, said her father allowed himself to be subjected to this ordeal to protect her. This experience, she said, ultimately prompted them to leave their homeland.
"My father did this for me, he protected me, and he always does," Dina told Cyprus Mail.
The father and daughter's other companion, Rania, also experienced the same persecution in Egypt because of her faith. Her father, also a Coptic Christian, disappeared a year ago while her husband was killed by radical Muslims.
Just like the Elgoharys, Rania also experienced being forced to shun her Christian faith, but chose to stand by it despite living in a community completely surrounded by Muslims.
"They tried to make me convert to Islam, to change my religion and after my husband died, they are trying to make me marry a Muslim," Rania said.
The three Christian migrants are now seeking employment in Cyprus to support their new lives and the freedom to exercise their faith