Egypt

International Christian Concern, an organization that works in support of persecuted Christians worldwide, has launched a letter-signing campaign that invites faithful from around the globe to sign a letter of appreciation and sympathy for a Muslim.

The man is Maj. Mustafa Abid, a Muslim who also was a police officer on a specialized bomb sqad in Egypt, who lost his life defusing a terrorist’s bombs on the Orthodox Church’s Christmas Eve.

A Muslim cleric, Sheikh Sayed Askar, had noticed a terrorist planting bombs on the roof of the Virgin Mary and Father Seifin Church in Nasr City, near Cairo, and notified authorities.

The intention of the terrorist, who was not identified, apparently was to blow up the building while hundreds of Christians would have been at the Christmas Eve service on Jan. 6.

“After Sheikh Askar alerted the police, the government responded to the imam’s observation and immediately dispatched a specialized bomb squad to defuse the bombs. The squad located three bombs on the roof of the church,” reported ICC. “Tragically, while the officers were attempting to defuse the bombs, one detonated. An officer, Maj. Mustafa Abid, lost his life. Three other nearby individuals, including Gen. Nasar Mansour, were serious injured.”

ICC is proposing that Christians sign a letter “to express our appreciation and sympathy to the Muslims who gave their life or health to save the lives of hundreds of Christians.”

Sign the letter.

“As an advocate for the persecuted and a public witness to their suffering, we continually call out governments and individuals that practice, abide, or abet the persecution of Christians around the world,” ICC said.

“Too rarely, though, do we have the opportunity to acknowledge and thank those who are the exception to the status quo – those who personally risk their reputations, livelihood, or even their lives to protect endangered Christians. Askar’s actions foiled this terrorist plot yet ultimately endangered his own life in Egypt – a country still teeming with radical Islamist violence today.”

The group continued, “The actions of Major Abid, General Mansour, the other members of the Nasr City bomb squad, as well as Imam Askar, give us such an opportunity. If they had not moved quickly, the roof of the church would surely have collapsed from the force of the explosion, resulting in a massive number of deaths of Christians at the church and Muslims attending the mosque next door.”

The Christian Post said the letter states, “By signing onto this letter, I wish to express my highest praise, deepest gratitude, and heartfelt sympathy for your injuries and loss incurred while following your conscience and your duty on Jan. 5, 2019. Your actions ensured that hundreds of Egyptian men, women, and children were not unjustly murdered during a deadly attack on the Virgin Mary and Father Seifin Church.”

It continues, “I wish to thank the members of the bomb squad and various police officers who put themselves in danger for the sake of others. I pray for complete healing for all who were injured. I also join in mourning with the family of Major Mustafa Abid and express my heartfelt sorrow for your tragic loss.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi observed a moment of silence for Abid at the inauguration of the country’s biggest cathedral, the Nativity of Christ, on the Coptic Christmas Eve on Jan. 6.

 

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