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Coptic Christian Student Killed by Classmates for Wearing Cross

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2011 Nov 01
  • Comments

A 17-year-old Coptic Christian student in Mallawi, Egypt, was beaten at school by his teacher and classmates for wearing a cross and later died of his injuries in the hospital, ASSIST News Service reports. When Ayman Nabil Labib, who had a cross tattooed on his wrist per Coptic tradition as well as another cross that he wore under his clothes, was asked by his Arabic teacher to cover up his tattoo, he refused and pulled out his second cross. The teacher and some Muslim students then began beating him and chased him into a bathroom, continuing their assaults. A school supervisor eventually took Labib to his room and called an ambulance, but Labib died about an hour later. The Egyptian media incorrectly portrayed the incident as a non-sectarian altercation between students that got out of control, but eyewitnesses, scared at first to say anything, eventually spoke out, refuting the official story and reporting that Labib was murdered because of his faith. Two Muslim students have been arrested and detained, and investigations are pending. Following Labib's funeral service, more than 5,000 Christians marched in the streets of Mallawi, denouncing his killing as well as the repeated killings of Copts in Egypt.