A prominent Egyptian Christian has received a five-year prison sentence for documenting religious persecution against the church.
According to Morning Star News, Bishoy Armia Boulous, formerly known as Mohammed Hegazy, was also fined 500 Egyptian pounds (US $70).
A judge in Minya said Boulos was sentenced "disturbing the peace by broadcasting false information on The Way TV, an evangelism channel, that disturbed the peace and public security."
Wagdy Halfa, Boulos’ attorney, maintains the judge did not cite the specific section of the nation's criminal code that his client allegedly violated.
In a statement Joseph Nasrallah, president of The Way TV, said, "The Tarik [Way] Channel had nothing to do with Mohammed Hegazy, who is known as Bishoy Armia Boulous, in any way."
Morning Star News claims, however, Nasrallah provided contradictory statements to about Boulous, saying that he had been in contact with Boulous, and that Nasrallah had told him that he would consider hiring him but had not committed to doing so.
In December the 31-year-old was arrested in Minya where Christians had been persecuted and come under violent attacks.
Boulos rose to international prominence in 2007 when he became the first Egyptian to try to change his religious identity on his ID card after converting to Christianity. His legal fight was postponed indefinitely during the “Arab Spring.”
Publication date: June 23, 2014