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Kerry Urges Egypt to Move Forward With Political Reform
By Jay Solomon- WSJ

Cites parliamentary elections slated for this fall as an important milestone for the Arab country. ‘We all know that defeating terrorism requires a long-term strategy. Border security and law enforcement actions are a significant part of the equation, but the even larger imperative is to persuade and prevent young people from turning to terror in the first place’

 

 

 

The Islamic State’s Christian and Yizidi Sex Slaves
By Nina Shea

Unlike Muslims, who can conform and wait out ISIS until the day it is defeated, Christians, along with "polytheist" Yizidis, can don veils and give up cigarettes and alcohol, but, as non-Muslims, their very presence is an intolerable offense to the year-old "caliphate." These minority religious groups in Iraq and Syria, lacking protecting armies or militias of their own, find themselves in unique peril. During his Bolivian trip this month, Pope Francis called it "genocide."

 

 

 

Assyrian Christian Woman Shares Story of Captivity by Islamic State
By Al-Monitor

A total of 253 Assyrian Christians, from 35 different villages along the Khabur River were kidnapped by the Islamic State on Feb. 23 in the governorate of Hasakah, Syria. A small group of 23 elderly individuals were released March 1, allegedly due to their age.

 

 

 

The March to Damascus
By Nick Danforth - FP

A short history of Turkish threats to invade Syria and why they've failed to produce a stable Middle East - and probably won't this time, either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Muslim Brotherhood is Extremist, Violence a Core Creed and Practice
By Youssef Wardani - Ahram Weekly

Muslim Brotherhood was the mother movement for the use of jihadist violence. All militant jihadist organizations of all stripes trace their ideological, organizational and operational outlooks and practices to the Muslim Brotherhood experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


USCIRF Condemns Bombing of Church in Egypt and Urges Increased Security During and After Coptic

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On New Year’s Day, a suicide bomber attacked a Coptic Orthodox
Church in Alexandria, Egypt, killing at least 21 and wounding scores more. Reports indicate that
20 people have been detained for questioning, but it is unclear whether they were directly
connected to the violence.

 

“The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemns in the
strongest possible terms the bombing and targeting of Christians and their places of worship,”
said Leonard Leo, USCIRF chair. “This attack all too clearly demonstrates the ongoing problem
of unchecked violence against Christians in Egypt. The Commission regrets all loss of life and
calls for a thorough investigation to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice,
something that has been elusive in Egypt in previous attacks on religious minorities. The
Egyptian government must also take visible steps to ensure the protection of Coptic places of
worship before, during, and after the Coptic Christmas of January 7.”

 


Serious problems of discrimination, intolerance, and other human rights violations against
members of religious minorities, as well as disfavored Muslims, remain widespread in Egypt. In
USCIRF’s 2010 Annual Report, the Commission noted that the reporting period marked a
significant upsurge in violence targeting Coptic Orthodox Christians. The Egyptian government
has not taken sufficient steps to halt the repression of and discrimination against Christians and
other religious believers, or, in many cases, to punish those responsible for violence or other
severe violations of religious freedom.


“Sadly, due to violent attacks, Christmas was not a time of peace for Christians in many
countries around the world, including Egypt,” said Leo. “At present, there is no real deterrent for
those who target Egyptian citizens because of their religious identity. Until there is justice and
accountability, the Christian minority, and other minorities in Egypt, will remain vulnerable to
extremists and terrorists.”


The Alexandria attack is just one in a series of attacks on Christians in Egypt. In January of
last year, six Christians and a Muslim guard were killed in a drive-by shooting on Coptic
Christmas Eve in the southern Egyptian town of Naga Hammadi. To date, no one has been
brought to justice. Closing arguments concluded in the trial of the three alleged perpetrators
last month and a final verdict is expected on January 16.


“The Commission welcomed President Obama’s statement on the attack and his call that the
Egyptian government bring the attackers ‘to justice for this barbaric and heinous act,’” said Leo.
“We hope the U.S. government will vigorously follow up on the President’s words and press
Cairo to see that all involved are held to account. The reports of ongoing violence connected to
other demonstrations require vigorous government action to protect not only places of worship
but also members of the Christian minority, as a means of preventing a cycle of reprisals.”

U.S. federal government commission. USCIRF
Commissioners are appointed by the President and the leadership of both political parties in the
Senate and the House of Representatives. USCIRF’s principal responsibilities are to review the
facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and to make policy
recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress.
To interview a USCIRF Commissioner, contact Tom Carter, Communications Director at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or (202) 523-3257.

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

Sixth Annual Conference

Coptic Solidarity 2015 Conference

The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 11-13, 2015.

 

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