Egyptian Christian shot dead by gunmen in suspected religiously motivated attack

A cross of an Egyptian Coptic Orthodox church is seen under a ''Fanous'' decorated lantern in the town of Nagaa Hamady, in Qena, 700 km (435 miles) south of Cairo, January 9, 2010.(Photo: Reuters/Asmaa Waguih)

An Egyptian Christian man was shot dead in what was believed to be a murder with religious motivations.

On January 13, 38-year-old Shaheed Nesemis Saroufeem was killed while turning home from the flour mill in Luxor Province. The police have arrested a suspect, Hasan Baghdadi.

According to the Morning Star News, Saroufeem's family members believe the murder is connected to their refusal to halt cases against Baghdadi's relatives in relation to the murder of three Coptic Christians in July 2013.

Shaheed Nesemis Saroufeem was the cousin of Emil Naseem Saroufeem, one of the victims of an attack in July 2013, by Islamists who blamed him for the death of Hassan Sayyed Segdy. Saroufeem and three others were killed in the attack.  They were allCoptic Christians.

The Morning Star News reports that Hasan's brother, Mohamed, reportedly accompanied Hasan in carrying out the murder. Mohamed remains at large.

A family member, who is unnamed, told the Morning Star News that Shaheed had been threatened with death since October 2014, when the trial for the July 2013 murder began. However, Saroufeem did not pay heed to the threats, which the family member said increased in intensity as months passed.

Despite the murder, Saroufeem's family members refuse to drop the charges against Baghdadi's relatives.

"What we really want is the government to enforce the law, or we will never feel safe," another unnamed male member of the family told the Morning Star News. "These people are asking us to drop the charges against them about the whole situation."

Compensation for the damages from the murder is not their concern, the family member said: "The thing we cannot drop or let go is these people not being charged for the murder. If we drop the charges against the killers, they will think they can kill any of us that they want and then say, 'Oh, I'm sorry,' and get away with it."