Al Qaeda declares Coptic priest Zakaria Botros “one of the most wanted infidels in the world”


And offers 60 million for his head. More on Islam’s Public Enemy #1. “Exclusive: Al Qaeda targets leading Arab evangelist operating in the U.S. for preaching the Gospel to Muslims,” by Joel C. Rosenberg for Flashtraffic, September 9 (thanks to Erick):

You have probably never heard of Father Zakaria Botros. But you need to know his story. He is far and away the most-watched and most-effective Arab-American evangelist focused on reaching the Muslim world, and by far the most controversial. The Rush Limbaugh of the Revivalists, he is funny, feisty, brilliant, opinionated, and provocative. But rather than preaching the gospel of conservatism, he is preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. And his enemies do not simply want to silence him. They want to assassinate him.

Last week, I had the honor of interviewing Botros by phone from a secure, undisclosed location in the United States, where he now resides. He told me that he had just learned that an al Qaeda website had posted his photograph and named him one of the “most wanted” infidels in the world. The Radicals have even put a bounty on his head. The Christian Broadcasting Network reported the figure was as high as $60 million. Botros does not know for certain. But just to put that in context, the U.S. bounty on Osama bin Laden’s head is “only” $25 million.

Why are the Radicals so enraged by an elderly Coptic priest from Egypt who is in his 70s? Because Botros is waging an air war against them, and he is winning.

Using state-of-the art satellite technology to bypass the efforts of Islamic governments to keep the gospel out of their countries, Botros is directly challenging the claims of Muhammad to be a prophet, and the claims of the Qu’ran to be God’s word. He systematically deconstructs Muhammad’s life, story by story, pointing out character flaws and sinful behavior. He carefully deconstructs the Qu’ran, verse by verse, citing contradictions and inconsistencies. And not only does he explain without apology what he believes is wrong with Islam, he goes on to teach Muslims from the Bible why Jesus loves them and why is so ready to forgive them and adopt them into His family, no matter who they are or what they have done.

If Botros was doing this in a corner, or on some cable access channel where no one saw him or cared, that would be one thing. But his ninety-minute program – a combination of preaching, teaching and answering questions from (often irate) callers all over the world – has become “must see TV” throughout the Muslim world. It is replayed four times a week in Arabic, his native language, on a satellite television network called Al Hayat (“Life TV.”) It can be seen in every country in North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, as well as all throughout North America,Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. And not only can it be seen in so many places, it is seen – by an estimated fifty million Muslims a day.

At the same time, Botros is getting millions of hits on his multiple web sites in multiple languages. There, Muslims can read his sermons and study through an archive of answers to frequently asked questions. They can also enter a live chat room called “Pal Chat” where they are not only permitted but encouraged to ask their toughest questions to trained on-line counselors, many of whom are Muslim converts to Christianity who understand exactly where the questioners are coming from and the struggles they are having.

As a result, Botros – on the air only since 2003 – has practically become a household word in the Muslim world. An Arabic newspaper has named him Islam’s “Public Enemy #1.” Millions hate him, to be sure, but they are watching. They are listening. They are processing what he is saying and they are talking about him with their friends and family. When Botros challenges Radical clerics to answer his many refutations of Islam and defend the Qu’ran, millions wait to see how the fundamentalists will respond. But they rarely do. They prefer to attack Botros than answer him. Yet, the more the Radicals attack him, the more well-known he becomes. The more well-known he becomes, the more Muslims feel compelled to tune in. And as more Muslims tune in, more are coming to the conclusion that Botros is right and in turn are choosing to become followers of Jesus Christ. Botros estimates at least 1,000 Muslims a month pray to receive Christ with his telephone counselors. Some of them pray to receive Christ live on their air with Botros. And this surely is only the tip of the iceberg, as it represents only those who are able to get through on the jammed phone lines. There simply are not currently enough trained counselors to handle each call.

[…]He does not believe all Muslims are Radicals, but he does believe all Muslims are spiritually lost, and he wants desperately to help them find their way to forgiveness and reconciliation with the God who made them and loves them.

“I believe this is the hand of God,” Botros told me. “He is directing me. He shows me what to say. He shows me what to write on”¦the web sites. He is showing me more and more how to use the technology to reach people with his message of redemption.”

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  1. says

    My devoutly Catholic elderly mother periodically says things like “Jesus will transform the Muslim world”…a sentiment I dismiss without need for comment…

    …and along comes Zakaria Botros…


  2. says

    Damn it. I wanted to be numero uno on that

    How dare he actually work to save the poor souls that are mired in the soulless swamp of islam. Doesn’t he know that Christianity is no different than islam? I mean after all, according to the dems, isn’t the only difference between Palin and a muslim, lipstick??

    To Father Botros, preach on brother. May you live many, many, many more years and convert all those who wish to see the light.

  3. says

    This is a very encouraging step. This is an ideological war. And Islam MUST CHANGE.

    Father Zakaria Botros is an Apostate. Islamic law is VERY clear. This is one of the issues the war is all about. I am certain that he is not missing any of the other issues.

  4. says

    The Christian Broadcasting Network reported the figure was as high as $60 million. Botros does not know for certain. But just to put that in context, the U.S. bounty on Osama bin Laden’s head is “only” $25 million.

    I guess that Usama bin Laden considers us pikers for having only $25 million on his head.

  5. says

    This is a very good priest!

    Loving the poor sinners and trying to save them!

    It is just great!

    EVERYBODY should pray this evening for the full success of the action of this priest! (everybody according to his confession: catholic, protestant, orthodox, …).

    Let us think great: we are satisfied with 100 % of the Muslims converting to Christianity.

  6. says

    This is an amazing story. If I were grateful to jihadwatch for nothing else (which is very far from being the case) I would appreciate having heard of Zakaria Botros. One wonders how many Christian leaders approve but keep silent, and, of course, how many Christian dhimmis disapprove altogether.

    Once again, it looks very much as if Muslims, “radical” or other, do not trust their faith to survive on its own merits. Let’s hope their fears are justified.

  7. says

    Joe–Fr. Botros is NOT an apostate. He is a Copt, not a former Muslim. He is responsible, however, for more than a few defections from Islam.

    Kevin–You DON’T want to be anywhere on that list. Sometime back, I tried to determine where Fr. Botros is at, exactly, and I was unsuccessful. The reason his tracks are so obscured is because he’s on that list.

    A reader on my blog recently commented about Fr. Botros, whom I hadn’t mentioned at all there, and her point was that we all need to conduct the anti-jihad in a more constructive manner, meaning it is not enough to point out all the failures and evils of Islam. We need to give Muslims, a deeply religious people, spiritual alternatives to the Religion of Hate.

    It’s an engaging topic, and it’s one that will inevitably raise the subject of the great Zakaria Botros.



  8. says

    Encouraging mass apostasy from Islam should be the ultimate weapon of the anti-Jihad. Christian proselytizing may be just as effective as promoting secular values or engaging in expositions of the moral failings of Muhammad and the Quran.

    Whatever works.

    In a sane world, the educational establishment of the infidel world would be the front line of such efforts.

  9. says

    Life is very hard in any part of the world for Muslims who convert to Christ. Just imagine how much harder their lives will be if al-Qaeda’s take on Obama (ie. that he is an apostate Muslim) is picked up by most Muslims. Converts away from Islam will be even more hated if the leader of the west’s war on terror is perceived to be a murtadd.

  10. says

    Just one note: Botros is the Egyptian Arabic for Peter. It seems to me right and just that this hero of evangelization should be given the name of the Prince of Apostles. Although he might also borrow a name from a Protestant classic and be called Mr Valiant-for-Truth. May God grant him more fruitful years of apostolate and brave successors to take his place when he is called to his everlasting Home.

  11. says

    The vision of Mary in Egypt

    When I lived in Cairo in the 1970’s I constantly heard reference to this astonishing and inexplicable story. There has never been a more documented and baffling Marian apparition. MILLIONS saw this apparition over THREE YEARS, it was on television and even Gamel Nasser himself saw it. Thousands upon thousands of Muslims sought out Coptic priests to convert. I am Jewish myself so I’m not ‘pushing’ the story. I took to many Egyptian Muslims who saw it and were, even years later, badly shaken by it.

  12. says

    Indeed, may God grant him many years and may he rightly define the word of His Truth to all those that are in desperate need of hope, suffering from old world hegemony, stifling of thought, and most of all LOVE.

    I have a good idea where Fr. Zakaria stays, but it is similar to Mr. Spencer’s living in the “Northeast somewhere”. In fact, as I have become brothers with many coptic orthodox who are part of the church I attend, I am very aware of his outreach towards all in conjunction with the coptic community.

    Raymond, do you know where I can see his show on TV in the United States? I have seen him on youtube.

    May blessings be upon all humanity and aid their search towards the holy Orthodox faith. Let us love one another regardless of who we are, and learn to help those who are in special need. Amen.

  13. says

    well i believe the word Gospel means good news and unlike the quran its available in almost any language so is it any wounder that fr.botros reaches so many muslim or that Christian evangules are forbidden in muslim country’s

    many refutations of Islam and defend the Qu’ran, millions wait to see how the fundamentalists will respond. But they rarely do. They prefer to attack Botros than answer him.

    funny i have a page on you tube and have asked muslims to answer a nd defend the queer-ran(koran) and not once have they answered my questions it seems there better at attacking and running down a person than defending their cult

  14. says

    I have been curious about Abouna Botros for some time… While he is an ordained Coptic priest, his evangelism styling and theology seems to be more geared toward an Evangelical theology…

    I am curious what this says about his relationship to the Coptic Church, and how it could very well indicate that it is too much for him at this time to incline people to join the Oriental Orthodox Churches at this time. (That is to say, as a visible target, they are ill prepared to set up Coptic churches, bishops, seminaries and clergy for the folks Botros brings to faith in Jesus.)

    I think this rather understandable Given the fate of many Catholic and Orthodox Clergy in Muslim lands…

    If this is the case, I can’t say I blame the Copts… Centuries of dhimmitude will do that to people.

    Pray for Father Botros.

  15. says

    Anyone trying to collect the 60 million dollars is, of course, going to have as much chance as the splodeydopes have of collecting their 72 virgins…

  16. says


    i am a atheist, but welcome Father Zakaria Botros. i wish him the best of luck.

    Posted by: theygottago at September 10, 2008 2:50 PM


    Hi Folks,,

    I am also a atheist, a pagan, wiccan atheist, who wishs the human race would evolve to a type 1 civilization.

    The money the infidel world,, is spending to DEFEND us all from this 7th century barbarian ideology,, could be spent on so much more,,

    important things,,


    keeping our planet healthy,, including the other 300 million different species,, all living, feeling beings,,

    (mammalian, avian, reptilian, piscine, etc etc)

    who own this world, much more than we do,, who are facing the largest MASS extinction in the history on this planet,, we call Earth.


    taking bigger steps into our OWN local solar system,, preparing us, for future exploration of this huge universe, that our OWN tiny little galaxy resides in,,


    ensuring that every human being on this tiny fragile little planet of ours,, has enough to eat, a safe place to live, clean water, and the right to FREE WILL.

    I could come up with 100’s of other “things”, our collective species Homo Sapiens,, could be spending our blood and treasure on,,

    instead of never ending defence against, a perverted belief system,, so buried in the 7th century sands of saudi barbaria,, and the brainwashing of dirty old men,, who would marry little girls.

    all I can do,, on a daily at both,, 11:11
    with my Global White Light Group,,


    I send white light and the reiki energy of the universe


    to protect and give strength to Father Zakaria Botros.

    Brightest Blessings to Father Botros


    Goddess, sweet mother earth help us,,



    proud pagan infidel

  17. says

    An admirable and brave man to be sure. And isn’t it so typical of the Christian seeking converts to reach out with love and understanding and so very typical of the Muslim to respond with hate and no understanding at all?

  18. says


    There is a great a Web campaign to discredit Father Botros and a great amount of money and talent goes into it. The admins of his chat rooms had their computer hacked by Islamic organizations and pictures of their families posted on youtube and various places on line, forcing some to make humiliating retractions, more like begging, to save their families. Unfortunately, a couple of admins had personal failings (mental instability, martial infidelity, a welling cuckold, a conman) and were exposed by the hackers, bringing discredit on the movement. Father Zakria has never met these people and his only contact with them was online. Although his opponents could not respond to father Botros’ arguments, they took a chapter out of Mohammed’s playbook and used trickery, subterfuge and intimidation.

    There is a guy who is big on you tube called brother Wisam who the chief propagandist enlisted to fight father Zachariah by discrediting the bible using arguments made by famous Atheists as well as brining attention to portions of the bible that scandalize Muslims such as the Song of Solomon, the sexual intrigue of King David’s court and incest between Lott and his daughters.

  19. says

    The last time I saw a piece on Fr. Botros on JW, someone had posted a link in the comments area to a website where one can donate to his ministry; I did so but do not have the link currently. Can someone please re-post it?

  20. says

    While dhimmi europeans think that it’s offensive to preach the Gospel to Muslims, this coptic man follows God’s command and tells Muslims they need Jesus Christ.

    God, please protect this vessel in his journey and evangelism. Amen!

  21. says

    This was such an encouraging piece of news.

    Fr Botros’ name is written into my prayer book, right up there alongside the names of Mr Spencer and the rest of the jihadwatch team.

    Spencer and company are deprogramming non-Muslims (that is: curing us of the ‘religion of peace’ Big Lie, equipping us to see clearly the nature of the ideology and work out how best to defend our societies against the politico-social danger that it presents). To use a medical analogy: they are helping us to recognise that there is a dangerous spiritual plague abroad.

    Meanwhile, Fr Botros is doing something much more difficult and dangerous – deprogramming Muslims, healing those who already suffer from the plague. (Thanks be to the Lord for inspiring all those myriads of people whose efforts made possible the invention and installation of Satellite TV!)

    In the Gospels Jesus/ Yeshua tells his disciples quite coolly and matter-of-factly that he’s giving them authority to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead (!!!) and preach the good news.

    Well: perhaps by those words he meant the sort of thing that Fr Botros is doing.

    Never before, in the 1300 years of Islam, have we kafir been able to send messages wafting across all the heavily-guarded boundaries; never have those inside the Islamosphere, who felt dissatisfied with Islam, had such opportunities – quietly and discreetly, without ever leaving their houses or even physically meeting with someone of another faith – to find out what lies beyond the iron walls of their world.

    I concur with kaffirchick: substantial donations to Fr Botros’ ministry are an excellent idea.

    I’d suggest that we match our donations there, with donations to Mr Spencer’s site, and donations to the ‘Barnabas Fund’ or to ‘Release International’, both of which offer advocacy and practical assistance to suffering dhimmi Christians inside the Islamosphere, while also assisting the persecuted in other places such as Myanmar and China.

    (Seems to me we could also do with a body that does what the Barnabas Fund does, but for ANY dhimmi population, not just Christians, that is suffering persecution, kidnappings, etc – groups like Amnesty *ought* to be doing that as part of their program, but seem to have fallen down on the job).

    And – pray, pray, pray. I pray regularly and often for divine protection and provision – for Mr Spencer and his family and the entire jihadwatch team (I hope Mr Fitzgerald the atheist won’t mind being prayed for!), and for people like Fr Botros. Pray for their protection from spiritual as well as physical attack; for financial provision; for guidance. The curses of Islam, and Muslim infiltrators, foster division and confusion; we must therefore ask especially for unity [mutual charity, cooperation] and clarity among those who are trying to resist the jihad.

    have-mercy – pray against all those assaults on Fr Botros. Invoke the Cross and the Blood. I am convinced that some within Islam use what we Christians would call the occult; Nonie Darwish’s report and, long before that, William Lane’s account, telling us how mosques regularly use ‘cursing prayers’ is good evidence of that.

    Let’s all of us who are praying people, pray for all those Muslims who are struggling to free themselves, who are divinely discontented, who are asking questions and feeling doubt. They need such courage; they’re in the same position as a child who has grown up within a severely abusive family, with all its perceptions of reality totally screwed up. We have all seen, in our own society, how difficult it is for a child or a woman in an abusive relationship to get her head clear enough and work up the courage to break with her abuser and flee; well, many Muslims are in the same psychological state as abused children or spouses.

    To our Jewish friends here – pray too! Pray to YHWH the Liberator, the one who gives freedom to the prisoners, who desires not the death of the wicked but that they should turn from their wickedness and live.

  22. says

    al Qaeda is just giving him free publicity, like he wasn’t watching his back already. Like he hasn’t spent his life watching his back. Guys like him, Reza Safa, and Ali Sina are my heroes.

    I love that he tries to openly engage Muslims in debate, which is always a futile enterprise, since Muslims by definition lack the logical faculties of retarded children, but it’s noble, and he can never lose that way. That’s why I love Sina’s Challenge too. Nobody’s ever getting that $50,000.

    We need to give Muslims, a deeply religious people, spiritual alternatives to the Religion of Hate.

    With legitimate religions I wouldn’t advocate jumping feet-first into another faith, but Islam is an identity for Muslims. Muslims are not deeply religious people. They have no concept of ‘religion’ per se or they would abide by the Golden Rule and define morality in terms of it, rather than by what some baby-raping mass murderer did, they would treat their women like people, they would have a concept of love, they would appreciate life, and they wouldn’t act so damn entitled. Cults do that to people: strip them of their individuality, and none moreso than Islam, particularly for women, who are required to abandon even their physical identity with the Dark-Age Nazi slave rags. Muslims need somewhere to run to, and Jesus is a great place. You can’t go wrong with the Gospels. My Jewish grandfather studied the Gospels a lot in his old age. He felt that there was a lot you could learn from them. My perspective is that the entire New Testament is crap with the exception of the Gospels, since every other book contradicts them by bringing in misogyny (anti-Jesus, anti-Golden Rule), advocating marriage and defining adultery by virtue of it (Jesus defined it as a breach of loyalty, cheating on one’s spouse, or polygamy, he never married Mary Magdalene, and he had to knock back a few just to watch the wedding at Cana), and by adding the concept of damnation to the mix, which defeats the entire purpose of Jesus dying for our sins, but I digress.

    Muslims need rules, and Christianity gives that to them. ‘Morality’ is imposed from the top-down in Islam, so it’s just a matter of what you can get away with. Take that away and they have no direction in life. Christianity helps them achieve that, helps them appreciate life, and hopefully infuses them with some concept of love. It also emphasizes the personal reltaionship with God, which is something I think most Muslims long for. In addition, it advocates not going through endless meaningless motions, but genuinely feeling and living devotion, rather than just trying to look like you do. That’s incredibly liberating.

    I hope he’s broadcast in Persian. Most Iranians don’t speak Arabic anymore, and if anyone’s ready to part ways with Islam it’s Persians. Reza Safa and Ali Sina say that very few young Persians are Muslim anymore and this gives them something to believe in.

  23. says

    As long as there are others aiming the red laser dot at the heads of the Muslims, I don’t mind what Father Botros is doing, but there will come times when the rubber meets the road and hard choices will have to be made, and at those times lots of our lives could be lost if we choose Christian love instead of, you know, taking measures along the lines of what we had to do to the people of Tokyo, Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WW2.

    So in tandem, great, but as a substitute for violence? Hell no.

  24. says

    If Islam is a religion of peace, I challenge all American Muslims to protect this man from al qaeda. Pick a side and back it up – with your own life.
    I challenge all American Muslims to hold a public demonstration against what al qaeda is doing to a man of God.
    You won’t because you’re all hypocrites and you know it.

  25. says

    One of the purposes of religion is to calm the savage. As you can see, by the model presented by Islam, this theory of spiritual psychology and therapy, does not always work.

    Psychologically speaking, Christianity, who’s symbols are love, and the dove of peace, is far more likely calm the beast than is Islam, whose symbols are desire and the sword.

    Muslims who are contemplating changing religions should consider Christianity first. It will provide them what they are lacking.
    Apparently Zakaria Botros is very adept at explaining this to muslims, which he why he is seen as ‘the enemy’…By some…

  26. says

    jdamn, there are a LOT of Persian speaking churches in the US who are broadcasting into Iran. In fact, Cuba has worked in concert with Iran to jam these broadcasts, but they continue to be watched. Some of the Iranian american programming is geared toward ridiculing the mullahs, who don’t like it, but there is a growing apostates’ movement inside and outside of Iran. Most of them are converts to Christianity, but there is also a sort of revival among the Iranians, more of a cultural revival, so to speak, of followers of Ahura Mazda. (Yeah, like the car…which was named for the god of Zoroastrianism.)
    As for Father Botros, he is the Elijah of our day. May the Lord raise more fearless men and women like him through his work.

  27. says

    Guys, much as I like Joel Rosenberg’s books, his site came up in my browser with a graphic warning from McAfee site advisor….a useful little download which flashes green, yellow, red or gray if you should go a wandering into web territory you might want to otherwise avoid. McAfee came up blazin’ red with the warning that his site links to porn sites. If this is true or not, I don’t know, all I know is that McAfee is usually spot on, and I recommend you get it.

  28. says

    We must, all of us, here in the US work to elevate Father Zakaria Botros to a Saint! Yes a Saint – he is a living Saint.

    Robert, can you start something in that direction? A vote or a donation process that will reveal that more than 60 million people world wide love, respect and honor St. Botros, Father Zakaria Botros. I have heared and seen the Saint at his best.

  29. says

    i heard that Zakaria Botros pissed of the islamic world a couple of weeks ago by pointing out that “prophet muhammed” had sex with the male kind. it says in one of the hadith.

  30. says

    Kudos to JihadWatch for ALL their informative articles. I read each comment regarding Fr.Zakarya.
    My husband and I have been honored and blessed in meeting him in person. I can tell you he is a devout, humble man, dedicated and very aware of what is happening, especially is the muslim world.
    I can also tell you, He definately knows more than people think. i.e. his room and admins on paltalk. (Many whom he has met personally)
    Father Zakarya was jailed in Egypt. While in a crowded dirty cell, he praised the God he so completly loves. He was an inspiration, and still is to all that come in contact with him. He shared the gospel, in word and action (meaning humility and love) with his jailers as well.
    This man,continues in the same humble way, to reach out and show by personal example God’s love.
    Controversial..ofcourse..loved AND hated..yes. A voice that cannot be silenced, a man who gives more as time goes by, asking nothing in return. He knows the meaning of dying to self,as well as unconditional love.
    Oh by the way, he is blessed with his family close to him now. To atheist, agnostic, Christian, Jewish and Muslim, he says, “know the love of your creator, know the love of the ONE who loved you first..and still does, then you will be secure,at peace with God, and your fellow man” This mere man whom so many fear, is also fearless. He definately is not a fool or one to not recognize danger, or the root of evil. He also knows how to combat it, in a way that draws thousands and probably millions to leave islam.
    Hopefully he will publish his life story (he often contemplates doing that, we also encourage him to do so)
    Again thank you to JihadWatch,and all who contribute to bringing necessary information and dialogue to the menace of radical islam as taught and followed in the Quran.

  31. says

    A brave and truthful man, the only way Muslims will see the beauty of God’s forgiveness in Jesus is to look at Jesus which the Qur’an says is their own Messiah and discover it’s meaning and to understand the unlettered prophet whom Mohammed orders them to follow in Sura 7, whose burden is easy and whose yoke is light is this same Jesus.

    This is great news.

  32. says

    My husband and I have known and personally met Fr.Zakaria. He is a man who is humble, sure of himself, and has experienced the harshness of radical islam throughout his life (even in an Egyptian prison) Fr. Zakaria, lives his faith, in word and deed.
    Kudos to Jihad Watch for your articles and educational information.
    For those who have read about him, please do not under estimate this man’s nowledge,awareness, and wisdom. He does what he does to tell all who will listen, that God is a God of love, every life is precious, but we make the choice between life and death. This message is to all, but especially to the muslim souls, he so much loves.
    People may fear him, curse him,lie about him, and obviously wish for his death. He continues and will continue to be a voice that cannot be ignored.