Saudi Arabia has threatened to blockade its neighboring Gulf State Qatar by land and sea unless it cuts ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, closes Al Jazeera, and expels local branches of two prestigious U.S. think tanks, the Brookings Doha Center and the Rand Qatar Policy Institute.
Our faith is under mortal threat, in danger of being driven into extinction, the same pattern we have seen in neighbouring Iraq
Today, the first Sunday of Lent, will see churches crowded across the globe. But here in Syria, where St Paul found his faith, many churches stand empty, targets for bombardment and desecration. Aleppo, where I have been bishop for 25 years, is devastated.
As a young bride, I once lived in a harem in Afghanistan. It was a nearly fatal adventure but I survived, escaped, and learned about gender and religious apartheid long before the Taliban. My firebrand American feminism was probably forged in purdah in the early 1960s. However, something called me Eastward and I have remained involved with the Islamic world.
Washington (..) is constantly on the lookout for “the right Islamist” to fall in love with.
Last month, Washington rolled out the red carpet for Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party. The “hero of Tunisian compromise and moderation” was ludicrously lionized as the living embodiment of the last real hope of the “Arab Spring”. It was unedifying and misguided, to say the least.
Negotiators have lost contact with a group of nuns kidnapped from a Syrian town last year after their captors moved them, a source told AFP on Thursday.
The 13 nuns and three maids were kidnapped from the famed Christian hamlet of Maalula last year and transported to the nearby town of Yabrud, a rebel stronghold the army is fighting to recapture.
Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC)
Under Threat: The Worsening Plight of Egypt’s Coptic Christians
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 334 Cannon HOB
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on threats to religious freedom in Egypt, including, the worsening plight of Egypt’s Coptic Christians. At a time when the world’s attention is on Egypt as it undergoes historic but tumultuous political change, it is important that the U.S. continue to shine the spotlight on the difficulties confronting religious minorities in the country. Egypt is on the cusp of a new era but the transition to a democratic society means more than just holding elections. It means that basic freedoms—such as the freedom of religion— are protected.
The Coptic Christian community, which traces its origins back 2,000 years and is the largest religious minority in Egypt today, is under assault. Churches have been bombed and citizens have been attacked while the Egyptian government seemingly encourages a culture of impunity for those responsible for these acts of violence. This hearing will address the continued discrimination and physical threats to the Coptic community and consider how the United States can better support religious freedom.
We will hear from the following witnesses: ***
Kathy Fitzpatrick, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State
Nina Shea – Director, Center for Religious Freedom, Hudson Institute
Dina Guirguis – Egyptian American democracy activist, attorney, and member, Egyptian American Rule of Law Association
Adel Guindy - President, Coptic Solidarity International
Cynthia Farahat – Egyptian political activist, writer and researcher
Raymond Ibrahim – Middle East specialist and Associate fellow, Middle East Forum
***Witness list subject to change.
Frank R. Wolf James P. McGovern Member of Congress Member of Congress
Co-Chair, TLHRC Co-Chair, TLHRC
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.