Egyptian Police Still Holding 130 Christians Captive CAIRO, Egypt (December 23, 2010) - Although local police have released 70 Christian prisoners in need of medical treatment, they are still holding 130 of the worshippers arrested when 2000 policemen brutally attacked a church being re-constructed on November 24. Local Christians told Christian Aid Mission's Africa Director Rae Burnett that many of those being held captive by the police are women and children who had come to the church to attend a worship service. Egyptian Christians asked Burnett to call Americans and friends around the world to pray for them during upcoming Christmas services. An extensive list of requests is available from the Christian Aid Africa Division. "We appreciate your love and concern for your brothers and sisters here in Egypt," said one leader who is distributing emergency humanitarian relief from Christian Aid, which is based in Charlottesville, Virginia. During the attacks on the church construction site, over 20 people were blinded in one or both eyes, five were killed and scores were injured. Over 25 homes in the surrounding Christian neighborhood were burned to the ground. "The most important aid we can send is financial," says Burnett, "because injured believers are being required to cover their own medical bills at government hospitals and pay for rebuilding their homes and businesses destroyed during the anti-Christian rioting. Those who have lost family members have the additional expense of burying their dead." Burnett said that Christian leaders are asking for the emergency aid to help suffering family members who survived the police attacks. Christian Aid is also collecting emergency relief funds for Christmas, which is not celebrated in Egypt until January 7. A presidential decree from the central government had been granted to allow the rebuilding of the church, but local officials and police decided to destroy the new church building before it could be used for worship this Christmas. Eye witness reports said the police chanted Islamic war cries as they attacked the Christians and attempted to demolish the building. Local Egyptian Christians released the following list of "Christmas Prayer Requests" and asked Christians around the world to intercede in their Christmas services and personal prayers that: (1) The Lord would have mercy on them in the current situations and rescue them from the hostility of the police, healing relations between the believers and their non-Christian neighbors who oppose the church reconstruction. (2) That the Lord will supply our urgent and most important needs and help believers to carry on a busy schedule of conferences and outreach activities planned for the New Year. An outreach is planned for January and outreaches at the Cairo International Book Fair when leaders from the entire Arab world will be gathering in Egypt. "We are so grateful for your concern," wrote the Egyptian leader, "and for the concern of those who share the need with us. Your love is obvious in every letter you send. We feel we are not alone; that you share with us the problems that we face."