Egypt’s “soul” church, founded in 1956 and called the Egyptian Spiritual Assembly, has come to the aid of a man who has been detained by the country’s military.
The spiritual assembly, which was founded by Sheikh Mahmoud al-Mansour in 1955 and was renamed in 2003, is not an official church, but it is seen as a safe haven for the nation’s Muslim minority.
Its founder Sheikh Mahmoud Al-Mantsour said in a video posted on Sunday that he was calling on the military to release the detainee.
The military has been accused of arbitrary arrests and torture in recent years.
A spokesman for the religious body told Reuters the spiritual assembly had no immediate comment.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has pledged to crack down on “terrorists” and to combat extremism.
The religious assembly has been in exile in Germany since last year, but the Egyptian government has kept it under close surveillance and has been trying to track down members.
Its headquarters have been shuttered in recent months.
The Egyptian military arrested a number of prominent members of the spiritual Assembly, including Sheikh Mahmoud, in the years after it took power in the 2011 revolution.
The group was accused of being a terrorist organization.
The arrest of the leaders of the Egyptian religious assembly was the latest move by the military.