Three Egyptian Christian high school students are on trial for allegedly insulting Islam.
According to ABC News, the students appeared in a 30-second video, filmed by their teacher, in which one student appears to be kneeling to pray while reciting verses from the Quran, while the two other students stand behind him laughing. One student runs his hand under the praying student’s chin, as if beheading him.
The students will stand trial on Thursday. Their teacher was sentenced to three years in prison, also for insulting Islam.
The students and their teacher have also been ordered to leave their village by angry Muslim village elders.
Christians in Egypt, known as Coptic Christians, have long complained of the injustices they have suffered in the predominantly Muslim country.
Christians make up approximately 10 percent of Egypt’s population. Egypt’s president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has vowed to crack down on extremism and to get rid of harsh blasphemy laws, but blasphemy charges have increased in recent months.
Publication date: February 1, 2016