In mid-August, authorities and protesters clashed violently in Egypt over the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. That led to a backlash of violence that claimed nearly 1,000 lives in the days that followed, with Christians targeted as the scapegoat, “Charisma News” reported.
Open Doors CEO David Curry says to the paper; “Some of these extremist groups think that Christianity itself—the very existence of it—is problematic, so they’re trying to snuff it out. So there’s a confluence of events, which is making it very, very dangerous to be a follower of Jesus in Egypt.”
Curry mentioned that Islamists managed to takeover of a Christian village of Dalga in Upper Egypt because Police can’t be everywhere and can’t protect everyone. Adding to the newspaper: “The lack of protection is especially dangerous for the residents in Dalga, which was taken over by hardliners a couple of weeks ago”.
“There are about 20,000 believers that have an enclave there [in Dalga], and they gather together and they go to church. They want to worship in freedom,” newspaper quoted Curry.
Since the siege began, word has leaked that the Muslim Brotherhood has demanded the Christians recant, pay a “jizya” or suffer the consequences.
They’re literally being taxed until and unless they convert to Islam. Curry added: “If you don’t pay the tax, you’re going to be attacked, you’re going to be punished, and your property is going to be attacked.”
The “jizya” is a kind of tax that Islamic law requires religious minorities to pay Muslims. The amounts demanded are ruinous.
Already, Muslims in southern Egypt have killed two Christian men for failing to pay the tax. Voice of the Martyrs reports that a Muslim man demanded a Christian in a village in Asyut pay him nearly $1,500. The paper continued: Muslims have also forced at least 140 Coptic Christians to pay 200 Egyptian pounds daily (US $30).