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EgyptSection of U.S. International Religious Freedom Report for 2013
By US State Department

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Executive Summary

Respect for religious freedom remained poor during the year under both former President Mohamed Morsy’s administration and the current interim government. On July 3, Mohamed Morsy was removed and Adly Mansour was named interim president.

Executive Summary of U.S. International Religious Freedom Report for 2013
By US State Department

In 2013, the world witnessed the largest displacement of religious communities in recent memory. In almost every corner of the globe, millions of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and others representing a range of faiths were forced from their homes on account of their religious beliefs. Out of fear or by force, entire neighborhoods are emptying of residents. Communities are disappearing from their traditional and historic homes and dispersing across the geographic map. In conflict zones, in particular, this mass displacement has become a pernicious norm.

Last Christian Left Mosul After 2,000 Years
By Jonathan Krohn - NBCNews

SamerKamilYacub was alone when four Islamist militants carrying AK-47s arrived at his front door and ordered him to leave the city, Qaraqosh.

The 70-year-old Christian had failed to comply with a decree issued by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Yacub's hometown of Mosul had boasted a Christian community for almost 2,000 years. But then the al Qaeda-inspired fighters who overran the city last month gave Christians an ultimatum. They could stay and pay a tax or convert to Islam -- or be killed.           




Rubio Announces Legislation To Strengthen U.S. Commitment To International Religious Freedom
By Senator Rubio Office

The U.S. Department of State released on Monday its 2013 International Religious Freedom Report highlighting various countries whose governments repress religious freedom, including China, North Korea and Iran, among others.

With global hostility toward religion on the rise, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced legislation to amend the Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to strengthen the United States’ role in monitoring and responding to violations of religious freedom throughout the world.

Congressman Wolf Slams Obama for Ignoring Christian Genocide in Iraq
By Tristyn Bloom - Daily Caller

Virginia Republican congressman Frank Wolf accused the Obama administration of ignoring the genocide of Iraqi Christians Thursday, saying that "Christianity as we know it in Iraq is being wiped out."


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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