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Curbing NGO Operations Hinders Democratic Evolution of Egypt
By Coptic Solidarity

The wide-ranging restrictions and draconian sanctions proposed to be implemented on non-government organizations represent a danger to the democratic evolution of Egypt. 

 

Arab Uprisings May Doom Middle East Christians
By Hilal Khashan - Middle East Quarterly

“The overthrow of Morsi has not provided the Copts with relief from violence and persecution.”

“(some) Muslims tend to regard Egypt's Islamization as permanent and consider the Copts a historical nuisance.”

New Freedoms in Tunisia Drive Support for ISIS
By David D. Kirkpatrick- NYT

Nearly four years after the Arab Spring revolt, Tunisia remains its lone success as chaos engulfs much of the region. But that is not its only distinction: Tunisia has sent more foreign fighters than any other country to Iraq and Syria to join the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State.

 

EU Human Rights Envoy Visits Egypt
By POMED

European Union Special Envoy for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis arrived yesterday in Egypt for a series of meetings with Egyptian government officials. Lambrinidis met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, during which meeting the minister emphasized Egypt’s interest in “maintaining human rights in political, economic and social aspects.”

 

Christians in the Middle East Focus of Vatican Gathering
By Aleteia

 “We cannot resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians," Pope tells cardinals.”


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.

 

 

Fifth Annual Conference

Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference

The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.

 Click here for details 

 

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CS Writing Contest

Marina Shalaby, a researcher at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, is declared the winner of the Coptic Solidarity Writing Contest for 2014.(Click Here)

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