Released on July 28, the US State Department’s 2013 International Religious Freedom Report documents the status of religious minorities and religious freedom in Egypt over the course of the year, whether under former president Mohamed Morsi, or under the interim government after his removal.
After leaving the post vacant for nine months, President Obama has finally nominated Rabbi David Saperstein to the post of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. If confirmed, Saperstein will head the Office of International Religious Freedom (OIRF) at the State Department.
Mar Behnam (St. Behnam) Syriac Catholic monastery in the Ancient Assyrian town of Nimrod is now occupied by ISIS.(AINA) -- Since taking over Mosul on June 10, ISIS has destroyed, occupied, converted to mosques, converted to ISIS headquarters or shuttered all 45 Christian institutions in Mosul.
By now, all Christians living in the second largest city of Iraq, Mosul, have been removed, their belongings stolen, their houses seized, their churches burned or transformed into Mosques by an army brandishing black flags with Koranic inscriptions on them.
The Arabic “nun” symbol, or N, which stands for Nazarene and refers to Christians, ominously began appearing, stamped in red, on Christian homes in Mosul, Iraq, two weeks ago.
For Immediate Release
Coptic Solidarity strongly urges that the international community, through the United Nations Human Rights Council, appoint a special rapporteur for the Copts in Egypt, particularly in light of the recent evictions, property confiscations and attacks against Copts.
The Copts are the Christians of Egypt who represent about12% of Egypt’s 84 million people.
Over the past two weeks, a new and ugly campaign has been waged against Copts. At least eight Coptic families have been evicted from their homes in the al-Nahda village, Amereyah, near Alexandria, following unconfirmed accusations against a Copt of having an affair with a Muslim woman. Even though the accused quickly surrendered himself to the police for investigation, some 5000 village people, incited by Salafists and other Islamist groups, went on a violent rampage, collectively punishing the few Coptic families that live in the area, burning and ransacking their houses and their property. To make things worse, a “council” dominated by these Islamists was convened, in the presence of and approval of the area’s chief of the police. This “council” decided to evict eight families from the village. The families’ property will be liquidated by the “council.” When theses families objected to such a decision, they were told that were “free to stay at their own risk.” They have since escaped, while the remaining families live in absolute fear.
In October, the Egyptian army committed a deliberate massacre against peaceful Coptic demonstrators and supporting Muslims who had organized a demonstration to protest the repeated attacks on churches by Islamists. The well-documented Maspero massacre claimed 27 Coptic lives, including at least 10 who were crushed by armored personnel vehicles. Despite the local and international uproar that arose, the junta did little to identify, let alone punish, those responsible. Instead, and in a flagrant reversal of the facts, it blamed the Copts and started to arrest and investigate some of the leaders of the demonstration. Over the past few days, two priests and at least two youths have been accused of “incitement” leading to murder, “attacking army personnel” and the disturbance of public order. They are banned from traveling abroad.
Such alarming acts come at the same time as the newly “democratically elected” parliament begins its term, with Islamists dominating over 75% of its seats. Of the 498 elected members of Parliament, only six are Copts. When one of these Coptic members requested that the assembly investigate the above-mentioned evictions, or include the Maspero massacre in the list of issues given to a special investigative committee, his request was ignored by the Speaker.
Coptic Solidarity condemns the escalating oppression against the Copts in Egypt, which is carried out with the full complicity of the ruling Junta. As the country appears to slowly slide into a military Islamo-fascistic regime, the international community is urged to consider its policies towards Egypt.
Coptic Solidarity is a U.S. public charity organization under section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are deductible under Section 170 of the Code.
Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.