Christians worldwide urged to sign letter thanking family of Muslim man who died saving churchgoers
Christians around the world are being urged to sign a letter to the loved ones of a Muslim police officer who sacrificed his life to save hundreds of churchgoers in Egypt.
Persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern published the letter online Wednesday, addressed to the family of Major Mustafa Abid, who was killed on duty on Jan. 5.
Abid, along with other officers, was responding to a bomb discovered on the roof of the Virgin Mary and Father Seifin Church in Nasr City, near Cairo, when it detonated and killed him, injuring three others.
The incident took place a day before the Coptic Christian Christmas Eve, and as International Christian Concern noted, fears are that hundreds of Christians, including children, would have been killed if the expositions had gone off as planned.
“By signing onto this letter, I wish to express my highest praise, deepest gratitude, and heartfelt sympathy for your injuries and loss incurred while following your conscience and your duty on Jan. 5, 2019. Your actions ensured that hundreds of Egyptian men, women, and children were not unjustly murdered during a deadly attack on the Virgin Mary and Father Seifin Church," begins the letter which is also addressed to members of the bomb squad.
"I wish to thank the members of the bomb squad and various police officers who put themselves in danger for the sake of others. I pray for complete healing for all who were injured. I also join in mourning with the family of Major Mustafa Abid and express my heartfelt sorrow for your tragic loss,” it continues.
“The Bible says, ‘Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ I believe that Major Abid’s actions demonstrated that kind of love, and I honor him for it.”
In a press release, International Christian Concern said it's rare that advocates for the persecuted Church have the opportunity to thank those who go against the status quo and risk their reputations, livelihoods, and in this case their lives, to protect Christians.
“The actions of Major Abid, General Mansour, the other members of the Nasr City bomb squad, as well as Imam Askar, give us such an opportunity,” International Christian Concern said.
“If they had not moved quickly, the roof of the church would surely have collapsed from the force of the explosion, resulting in a massive number of deaths of Christians at the church and Muslims attending the mosque next door.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meanwhile observed a moment of silence for Abid at the inauguration of the country’s biggest cathedral, the Nativity of Christ, on the Coptic Christmas Eve on Jan. 6.
Sisi insisted that all Egyptians are united against terror.
"We are one and we will continue to be one," Sisi said as he celebrated the opening of the nearby Al-Fattah Al-Alim mosque.
"This moment is very important in our history," he added, reflecting on the joint opening of the two houses of worship.