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I felt compelled to share the Good News with them
Posted By Eric Sammons On June 11, 2009 @ 9:38 am In Eastern Christianity,Evangelization | Comments Disabled
How would you like to have a 60 million dollar bounty on your head? From al Qaeda?
That is the price on the head of Father Zakaria Botros, a Coptic Orthodox Priest from Egypt currently living in the United States. He has made it his life’s mission to preach the Gospel to the Muslim world, and the consequences have been severe for him. Catholic.org recently posted an interview  he gave to FrontPage:
FP: Let’s begin with your own personal story, in terms of Islam and Christianity.
Botros: I am a Copt. In my early 20s, I became a priest. Of course, in predominantly Muslim Egypt, Christians—priests or otherwise—do not talk about religion with Muslims. My older brother, a passionate Christian learned that lesson too late: after preaching to Muslims, he was eventually ambushed by Muslims who cut out his tongue and murdered him. Far from being deterred or hating Muslims, I eventually felt more compelled to share the Good News with them. Naturally, this created many problems: I was constantly harassed, threatened, and eventually imprisoned and tortured for one year, simply for preaching to Muslims. Egyptian officials charged me with abetting “apostasy,” that is, for being responsible for the conversion of Muslims to Christianity. Another time I was arrested while boarding a plane out of Egypt. Eventually, however, I managed to flee my native country and resided for a time in Australia and England. Anyway, my life-story with Christianity and Islam is very long and complicated. In fact, an entire book about it was recently published.
FP: I apologize for asking this, but what were some of the tortures you endured when you were imprisoned?
Botros: Due to my preaching the Gospel, Egyptian soldiers broke into my home putting their guns to my head. Without telling me why, they arrested me and placed me in an extremely small prison cell (1.8×1.5×1.8 meters, which was further problematic, since I am 1.83 meters tall), with other inmates, and in well over 100 degree temperatures, with little ventilation, no windows, and no light. No beds of course, we slept on the floor—in shifts, as there was not enough room for all of us to lie down. Due to the lack of oxygen, we used to also take shifts lying with our noses under the crack of the cell door to get air. As a result, I developed a kidney infection (receiving, of course, no medical attention). Mosquitoes plagued us. Food was delivered in buckets; we rarely even knew what the gruel was. The prison guards would often spit in the bucket in front of us, as well as fling their nose pickings in it.
Read the whole interview here .
One of the consistent characteristics of Church history is the willingness of Christians to preach the Gospel in spite of terrible hardships and persecutions. We Americans can often get upset when the slightest difficulty arises from our Christian life, yet many have suffered greatly so that we might know Jesus Christ. Father Botros and others like him need our prayers (and assistance!) as they work to spread the Gospel to the most hostile ends of the earth.
Father Botros also has a web site  which contains a large about of his writings, available for free.
Article printed from Divine Life – A Blog by Eric Sammons: http://ericsammons.com/blog
URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2009/06/11/i-felt-compelled-to-share-the-good-news-with-them/
URLs in this post:
 an interview: http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=33761&page=1
 web site: http://www.fatherzakaria.net/
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