Year: 2020
World Watch List: 16
Score: 76
Leader: President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Population: 101.1 million
Christian: 16.2 million
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Republic
Source of Persecution: Islamic Oppression
In cooperation with local partners and churches, Open Doors supports the persecuted church in Egypt through:
  • Equipping and training of believers
  • Bible and Christian literature translation and distribution
  • Literacy classes
  • Socio-economic development
  • Advocacy and emergency relief
  • Medical outreach
  • Widows ministry

“I was proud of my father, for standing by his faith until the last moment.”

– Margos, a teenage Egyptian Christian boy who witnessed his father’s murder after he refused to deny Jesus.


Source of persecution: Islamic oppression

Second-class citizens
In Egypt, it is the society that persecutes Christians. Islam has a heavy influence, resulting in a view that Christians and other religious minorities are second-class citizens. Egyptian Christians are often victims of social exclusion, and face constant discrimination in areas such as justice, education and basic social services. Besides putting Christians at a disadvantage when dealing with the government, the wider community does not tolerate Christians, especially in rural areas like Upper Egypt. Mobs of angry Muslims move frequently when a church applies to be officially recognised or when there are rumours of blasphemy. They also watch and observe Christians to make sure that they are not doing anything against Islamic principles.

The country is facing huge economic, political, social and security challenges, which puts Christians at further disadvantage as they already face discrimination and attacks because of their faith.

Violent attacks
The level of violence against Christians remains extremely high. 23 believers were killed, while 1205 were attacked in the WWL2020 reporting period. Sexual harassment, abduction, and forced marriage to Muslims happen often to Christian girls in the rural parts.

Believers from Muslim backgrounds face pressure from their families and communities as leaving Islam is a betrayal of the family. Converts may be punished with beatings or expulsion from their homes. If news of the conversion is known in community, it might lead to mob violence.

Please pray:

  • For the women and girls who have been abducted and forced into marriages with Muslims. Pray that they will be able to hold on to Jesus despite their circumstances, and find the strength and grace to be His witnesses to those in their new environment.
  • That the Lord will provide for Christians who are unable to find jobs because of their faith.
  • For believers whose loved ones were martyred for their faith. Pray that Holy Spirit will be their Comforter.

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2020 World Watch List Map

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