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Egypt Slips in Press Freedom Index, Ranks 159
By Egypt Independent

Egypt has slipped one place in the press freedom index (http://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php)

due to increasing harassment against  journalists since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in 3 July 2013.

 

Frank Wolf: An Appreciation
By George Weigel

For the first time since 1978, Frank Wolf’s name will not appear on the November ballot in Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District. The republic will be the poorer for that.

 

Pope Tawadros Received by Patriarch Kirill and Russia’s Foreign Minister
By Coptic Orthodox Church Media & Communications Office

His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, accompanied by a papal delegation, was received by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia at the Russian Patriarchate on 29 October 2014. 

 

The visit, that included a formal meeting of delegations, followed by lunch, marks 26 years since the most recent visit of the last Pope of Alexandria, His Holiness, the late Pope Shenouda III.

 

Wishful thinking in the U.S. plans against the Islamic State
By David Ignatius

A glimpse of the anxiety sweeping the Arab world surfaced last week when an Arab woman complained during a talk in Amman at the Columbia Global Center for the Middle East. She said my speech’s title about the “crisis” in the region wasn’t accurate. The correct word was “disintegration.” The audience cheered loudly.

 

Dramatic Deterioration in Human Rights in Egypt over Past Four Years, 19 Groups Declare
By EIPR

In preparation for Egypt’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the UN, scheduled for November 5, the Forum of Independent Egyptian Human Rights Organizations (the Forum), comprised of 19 organizations, published a joint report on the status of human rights in Egypt over the past four years. The report was sent to the UN Human Rights Council in March, the deadline for the submission of governmental and independent reports to be discussed during the UPR. As per the council’s procedures, the reports are subjected to UN review and assessment prior to release and publication in the run-up to the UPR. Reviews are conducted to record the human rights status of member states every four years.


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 2014 Conference

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

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