Stabbed, persecuted and driven from home: the story of an Egyptian refugee living in Germany

Reuters

A Christian refugee who fled persecution in Egypt has shared how he was forced to escape his home country after being stabbed for his faith.

Mina, 25, used to live in Port Said, but was forced to flee in 2013 when Christian persecution began escalating in his area. He now lives in Bonn, Germany.

Sitting in his room, adorned with crosses and a colourful wall hanging depicting Joseph and Mary crossing through Egypt with Jesus in her arms, he spoke to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

"I feel safe here," Mina said. "When I am sad and miss my home, I pray – and that comforts me."

He described how it became impossible to go to church during Ramadan in Port Said, and women were not free to leave the home without a head scarf on.

"They mistreated us every day," he said.

Seven years ago, this maltreatment escalated when the Coptic Christian community baptised an adult woman who had been Muslim. A screaming mob stormed the church and the young woman was kidnapped.

Mina was stabbed in the stomach, leaving a scar as long as his forearm. After the incident he remained in Egypt for five more years, but two years ago decided to flee.

Describing why, he said "I couldn't take it anymore." He lived in Libya for a year, but when the situation there worsened he returned to Egypt and applied for asylum in Munich. He moved to Bonn in June 2013. His parents are still in Egypt and he keeps in touch with them via Skype.

Though he felt safe in Bonn, Mina wouldn't have his photograph taken by DW for fear of being attacked again. He said there are radical Islamists in the area where he lives.

"Not all Muslims are bad people," he said, "just the religious fanatics."

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