Human Rights Activist
LOVE AND HUMAN RIGHTS
From conversion to torture to human rights activism. Those are 3 stages of a long and ongoing journey.
Majed El Shafie was born in Egypt to a prominent Muslim family of judges and lawyers. His future seemed assured.
Then at eighteen, he converted to Christianity - and was outspoken about it. Over a 2 year period, his group went from about 25 people to twenty four THOUSAND. And this though Christians were not allowed to build churches in Egypt - or at any rate, not above ground, so they had to built in caves, underground.
Several months before his arrest, he knew the arrest was coming. He could have escaped. But he was close to a number of people, and knew they would be arrested and tortured if he fled.
So he stayed, knowing he was being followed, watched.
The most important thing for him. To use the time to distance himself from people, so they would be safe.
He also was not sure he would be able to hold out during torture, and spoke with his pastor about this.
The arrest came. So did torture - so horrific that, when he was released, he was unable to move. He spent 3 months in hospital, unable to move.
He also received a death sentence.
The next step in his journey was escape to Israel.
Now he lives in Canada, where he is a Christian minister. His experiences prompted him to establish One Free World International, a human rights organization committed to religious freedom, freedom from religious persecution. He is not only against Christian persecution but also, for instance, Muslim persecution. In China, both Muslims and the Falun Gong are persecuted. Majed El Shafie is strongly and vocally against ALL religious persecution, ALL human rights violations.
However, Christianity and Islam, and the facts about Islam - those are very important to him.
Majed pressures governments and challenges spiritual leaders on behalf of persecuted people worldwide.
Most recently he has written a book, Freedom Fighter, where he tells his story, and that of others, including the true story of rescuing a very young Pakistani girl who experienced horrific sexual abuse. Why the abuse? Because her family would not convert to Islam!
One big question: is there anything in Majed's background that made him more likely than most people in Egypt to do what he did: be open to exploring Christianity, then convert, choose torture over fleeing, and now head a major human rights organization against religious persecution. For Majed, the answer is a strong yes.
For more on One Free Wolrd International, and Majed El Shafie's book, go to:
Reverend Majed El Shafie, human rights activist.
Against all religious persecution,
Christian and other.
One Free World Organization.
WORLD TRUTH SUMMIT
Personal Journeys Toward Difficult Truths:
Understanding Islam, Understanding the West
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Eric Allen Bell
Majed El Shafie