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Egyptian man sentenced to six years for Facebook "like"

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Be careful what you click online. Especially if you live in a country where Christianity is frowned upon, or, as in many Muslim countries, illegal.

Morning Star News has reported that Kerolos Shouky Attallah has been accused of blasphemy against Islam because he liked a page by an anonymous group of Christians known as Knights of the Cross. The page is written in an Arabic language.

Kerolos was found guilty of violating two articles of Egyptian Penal Code - Article 98F, defaming a divinely revealed religion, and Article 176, inciting sectarian violence. [International Christian Concern] He was sentenced to six years in prison.

Safwat Samaan, Chairman of Nation Without Borders said' The sentence today was a shock not just to Kerolos but to everyone who uses Facebook in Egypt. Any person who uses Facebook in Egypt and presses 'like' on any page...can be put in into prison for six years."

Todd Daniels, International Christian Concern Regional Manager for the Middle East said, "Egypt must quickly abandon the use of sham trials that violate the most basic rights of all citizens, including its Christian minority. The United States should use its role as a key ally and a significant donor of funds to Egypt to ensure that the country is moving to protect the fundamental rights of its citizens."

An attorney representing Kerolos said, “Kerolos didn’t intend to insult the Islamic religion, only he made a like on the page of Knights of the Cross on Facebook. He doesn’t have much experience in the internet plus he suffers from poor eyesight. So there was not any intention for the contempt or blasphemy of Islam."

This report comes after Dr. David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA recently said "The situation has improved for Christians in Egypt."

Curry told The Christian Post, "It's been due to the willingness of the new government to protect Christian areas to allow for free expression of faith for Christians, for people to attend church in safety, to be able to associate themselves with their faith. I am encouraged; this is not a political statement for the government because I'm not an expert in political situations, but I can tell you that this is an improvement for Egyptian Christians; it's stability that they welcome."

Unfortunately, for Kerolos, the stability appears to be questionable.

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