WASHINGTON, May 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) latest annual report, once again includes Egypt as a 'Country of Particular Concern,' or CPC for ongoing, systematic, and egregious violations of religious freedom.
A 10-year-old Christian boy who served as a deacon (or altar boy) at the Coptic church of St. Abdul Masih (Servant of Christ) in Minya, Egypt, was kidnapped earlier this week.
Salafi hostility for Coptic Christian churches in Egypt continues unabated. Most recently, concerning St. Mina church, renovations were just finished and a fence was being built when a group of Salafi came to the church, locked the priests inside and threatened to destroy the church if the fence is built. Reverend Andraos Moussa tried to calm the Salafis and called for a peaceful solution, including by calling the governor of the area, Dr Yahya Abd Al-Azim and the head of security. The officials convened a meeting the next day but were unable to resolve the issue, saying that the aggrieved parties should sue in court, and thus legitimizing the complaint.
While news of attacks on Egypt’s churches is becoming more and more frequent, one must also be aware that threats against Coptic churches that never materialize or are forestalled are perhaps even more frequent, even if they get significantly less media coverage. For example, according to Tahrir New, the Church of the Two Saints Maximos and Damamos, in the region of al-Asafira in eastern Alexandria, has been receiving threats from “unknown” people that it will be bombed. The rest of the brief report focuses on how the region’s police have taken the necessary precautions to secure the church from any attack. While this is admirable, it is also a reminder of the increasingly precarious position Egypt’s Christian minority continues to find itself and its churches.
By Coptic Solidarity; original source Tahrir News
In the past Copts were killed and the perpetrators were set free, and Churches were burnt one at a time; these heinous acts were committed and the existing Government blamed them on “outside sources”. At the same time, Christians were bypassed routinely in appointments and promotions. The Autocratic Government that ruled Egypt at that time denied they had a role in any of these acts or denied them altogether. The current Government in Egypt not only continued this unholy tradition but condoned it and encouraged it. What was done covertly in the past is now escalated and became overt. The Coptic victims of these brutal acts are blamed for them, as if people were asked not to believe what they see and hear. Egypt became another trend setter for how to tell lies and commit these unspeakable acts; a shame that was reserved to the likes of Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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.