Arrested for giving out fruit


During the month of Ramadan Muslims worldwide fast to remember the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. In Egypt, at sundown each day, observant Muslims will customarily break their fast at their evening iftar meal by eating dates.

Knowing this, 16 year old Christian Fawzi Osama, from the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria, decided to hand out dates to those hurrying home before sundown. In a country that is 90 per cent Muslim, nearly every passer-by was, almost certainly, a Muslim taking part in Ramadan.

In each small plastic bag of dates he also had included a slip of paper containing a Christian message.

Before the night was over, an offended bystander had stopped Fawzi and taken him to a nearby police station. The irate Muslim demanded the minor be charged with offending Islam and attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity.

A local news website reported that the printed material inside each bag included this message: “The Lord knows all that occurs, for He is the mighty Knower. He can carry on his shoulders all that is oppressive and exhausting and bring comfort and joy, for He loves you very much.” The slip of paper also included a link to a Christian website with evangelistic content.

Two of Fawzi’s Christian friends who had heard what had happened hurried to the police station that same evening, only to also be detained.

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