Pepper spray attack against Christian missionary

Country: Austria

Date of incident: February 28, 2024

On the afternoon of February 28, Christian missionary Lahzy Mahfonz Hefzalla Girgis has been attacked with pepper spray at Vienna’s central Stephansplatz. While Mr Girgis was having conversation with a Syrian person, two other allegedly Syrian men approached him. One of the Syrian men shouted "Jesus is God" mockingly and sprayed pepper spray into Mr Girgis' eyes. Lahzy Girgis had to be treated in hospital.

"While I was speaking, two people suddenly approached me. One of them mockingly shouted "Jesus is God" and sprayed pepper spray into my eyes. Then they ran away. Due to the severe pain in my eyes, I couldn't see anything. About half an hour later, I called the police. Unfortunately, they didn't arrive until another half an hour later," recalls Lahzy Girgis. 

Two Americans testified the incident to the police. The police called an ambulance, which took Mr Girgis to a clinic, where he was treated and discharged the same day. The following days he continued to suffer from severe eye pain.

Lahzy Girgis regularly organises a Christian book table in different districts of Vienna, where he distributed bibles to those interested. OIDAC reported about previous assaults against Mr Girgis on these occasions. 

Source: Personal testimonial, verified OIDAC Europe

Image: Wiki Commons