September 26, 2003 (Voice of the Martyrs) -- Egyptian Christian Bolis Rezek-Allah was pulled off an international flight this afternoon in Cairo, Egypt, and is being held by Egyptian secret police. Rezek-Allah, who had been granted an immigrant visa to Canada, was on the plane to leave Egypt when police arrested him.
His wife, Enas Badawi, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity, is also being sought by police but has not yet been apprehended. She had planned to eventually join her husband in Canada, but now is in hiding.
In Egypt it is illegal for a Christian man to marry a Muslim woman, and in the eyes of the police and government Badawi is still a Muslim, as they refuse to recognize her conversion.
“It is interesting that the Egyptian government has no problem with Muslim men marrying Christian women,” said VOM spokesman Todd Nettleton, “but they won’t recognize the right of Christian men to marry Muslim women. There is complete freedom for Christians if they want to convert to Islam, but no freedom for Muslims to choose to follow Christ.”
The Voice of the Martyrs urges American Christians to pray for Rezek-Allah as he is in custody, and for Badawi in hiding.
VOM also encourages polite protests to the Egyptian embassy:
3522 International Ct NW
Washington, DC 20008-3022
Telephone: (202) 895 5400
Fax: (202) 244-4319
“The Egyptian government says it gives citizens religious freedom, but this arrest shows that’s clearly not the case,” said Nettleton. “American Christians can make a difference by being heard on behalf of this couple.”