A young Coptic Christian man was viciously killed last week in the Egyptian city of Dabaa, Matrouh Governorate. Four unidentified masked men reportedly shot him numerous times while he was at work.
Rani Raafat, who worked in veterinary medicine trade, died instantly after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds. The suspects also burned his car before fleeing, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
Raafat's relatives believe he was killed over his Christian faith and that his attackers were extremists.
"I was at home in Dabaa, and a phone call came to my son to open the shop to receive goods for agricultural supplies in a project he works in the afternoon," explained Raafat Nour, the victim's father. "I later received a phone call of the death of my son. When I went to the store, I found him dead and lying on the ground, overwhelmed in own his blood."
Egyptian news outlets also reported there was a second victim, Sherif Rashad, who sustained a gunshot wound and was treated at an area hospital.
Nour noted that this wasn't the first time his son has been targeted.
"My son had a problem in December 2021 and was beaten with a shotgun. The accused (in the matter) was arrested and imprisoned. We sat with his family, and they promised us that the matter would be over, and my son was transferred from El Dabaa High School to a school in Burj Al Arab."
Nour continued, "He has now been attacked by unknown masked persons who escaped. I only want to apprehend the perpetrators and hold them accountable, and to take the right of my son through the judiciary," he added.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom recently suggested that Egypt be added to the State Department's Special Watchlist for religious freedom.
ICC's president, Jeff King, stated, "We are saddened to hear the news of yet another violent incident targeting an Egyptian Christian, and are concerned that we have seen a second major incident in just a few weeks.
"We are watching Egypt closely to see if these are warning signs of a more challenging future for Egyptian Christians. Our prayers are with the victim's family and we urge the authorities to conduct a transparent investigation which affirms due process of law."
Egypt is ranked 20th on Open Doors' 2022 World Watch List where Christians suffer the most persecution.
Open Doors says Christians are treated as second-class citizens in Egypt. Mobs of Muslim extremists are forcing them to leave their homes and law enforcement does not usually get involved.