Egyptian Christians are under attack. From the news: “The leader of Egypt’s Coptic Christian church is warning of increased attacks on Christians, saying national unity is being “defaced.” In a Monday meeting with lawmakers, Pope Tawadros II said that since 2013 there have been 37 sectarian attacks on Christians — nearly an incident a month.”

“The pope made his comments after he met with a parliamentary delegation which was composed of members of parliament’ Committee on Religious Affairs and the Support Egypt bloc at Cairo’s Al-Abbasiya Cathedral. The pope cited a report compiled by the church showing that in the past three years there have been 37 attacks on Christians; an average of one attack per month.”

Daily News Egypt quotes the pope as saying, “Egypt is known for the special coexistence between its Muslim and Christian population, and for not looking upon Copts as a minority. This is being distorted in front of the world, and it’s our responsibility is to correct it.”

So, why should Americans care about the plight of Egyptian Christians?

“Today, the Copts­­ — Christian Egyptians — comprise the largest Christian community in the Middle East, with more than 9 million Copts living in Egypt, and another million estimated to be practicing their faith in the United States and countries including Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and Africa. . . The Coptic Church is based on the teachings of Saint Mark, who brought Christianity to Egypt during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero in the first century. While Christianity disappeared completely in some regions, it has survived for more than 19 centuries in Egypt under Islamic dynasties. Its ancient roots put it on par with Chinese or Indian civilizations, and makes Coptic culture vital for understanding the ancient world, or any of the modern institutions it has influenced.”

Why the increase of violence against Egyptian Christians?

“Coptic Christians in Egypt have faced persecution for their faith for years, both at the hands of some in the local Muslim majority, but also with the rise of the Islamic State terror group, which has spread into the country.”

That an alleged Junior Varsity team has spread its tentacles into Egypt should be troubling for freedom-loving people everywhere.

Click here to learn more about the Coptic Church.

Image Source: Library of Congress

David Robertson
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Copyright 2016 The Moderate Voice
  • Markus1

    The Copts have lived in Egypt for two thousand years. Egyptian society was more tolerant a century ago as were other Middle Eastern countries. Certainly, there were Islamists, but they were balanced by more progressive elements. How this balance became undone needs to be understood. The military has opposed the Moslem Brotherhood. Many of the elements in Egyptian life received external support. I think the Brits tended to support the conservative Islamic faction. Later, Nasser’s military got support from the USSR. The Islamists are underwritten by Saudi Arabia, of course. I wonder if any of you know a good study of all this history?
    I also worry that the US military action against al-Assad in Syria is hurting minority communities there. While al-Assad is no angel, he has been protective of Christians and other religious minorities. We are on the side of people out to eradicate anyone outside of their version of Islam.

    • dduck

      Meantime in Syria, Allepo is cut off and many may starve to death. Another under reported story, swamped out by our silly election.

  • JSpencer

    How much suffering in the world has been perpetrated down through history in the name of religion? Count me out.

  • jdledell

    The mideast is complicated when it comes to religions. I have spend time in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan and here is my perspective. The is no question that the Egyptian Coptic followers face discrimination and peril at the hands of the muslim majority. It’s been getting worse ever since Nasser led a reawakening of Islamic militancy. I first visited Egypt in 1956 and in those days it was easy to take a bus from Tel Aviv to Cairo. Jews, Christians and muslims intermingled easily. That all changed when Israel, France and Britain invaded Egypt to take back the Suez Canal. This caused ordinary Egyptians(mostly Sunni Islam) to consider European Christians and Israeli Jews as enemies and it’s been all downhill since then.

    In Syria there is a significant percentage of Christians, mainly in Damascus. They are firmly in the camp of Assad and his Shia branch of lslam – the Alawites. Assad has protected the Christians from the Sunni and if Assad falls, the Christians will have no choice but to flee.

    In Lebanon, the Shia, including Hezballah, have protected the very sizeable population of Christians from the Sunni. Even though the Shia, Sunni and Christians periodically fight over political issues for the most part Christians and Shia are aligned.

    Jordan is pretty quiet on the religion issue. Even though most of the population is Sunni, Christianity’s presence in the area has been very long lived so the Sunni have gotten used to their presence. Another factor is a large percentage of Palestinians who fled Israel in 1948 now reside in Jordan. King Abdullah is a very tolerant leader with respect to religion and keeps a tight rope around Sunni militancy.

    If you talk to muslims in the mideast, they feel that they are under constant attack by Western Governments and Israel. They look at Afghanistan, Iraq, where hundreds of thousands of muslims have died at the hands of the west. Because Islam considers religion and government to be intertwined, they don’t understand that in the Western Christian world that is not the case. Consequently, from their viewpoint an attack on the Church is the same as attacking the enemy government.

    Talk to the people and they don’t understand why Germany, Britain, Russia, China, Japan etc have killed many, many, many, many, many more millions of people than muslims yet the intensity of hate against Islam is orders of magnitude greater than for any other country on earth.

    • dduck

      Wonderful insight JDL. Thanks

    • KP

      I appreciate your experience and for sharing it so clearly.

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