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.
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.
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.
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.
A Christian man and his son were shot dead in Egypt when he refused to pay extortion money demanded by a Muslim racketeer, who has been kidnapping Christians for ransom.
The offender went to the home of Moawad Assad, a building contractor, in Nag Hammadi on 26 January to collect the money that he had demanded three days earlier. The Christian refused to go to his car for fear of being kidnapped. Four men armed with machine guns then got out of the vehicle and opened fire on Moawad and his 26-year-old son Assad Moawad, an engineer. They were both killed instantly.
The racketeer and his gang have been extorting money from Christians and kidnapping their children for ransom for some months; eleven Christians were seized between 11 August and 24 December 2011 in Nag Hammadi and neighbouring Farshoot and Bahgoura.
A senior Christian leader in Nag Hammadi said all the incidents had been reported to the police. He questioned why the ringleader, who is well known to the police, has not been arrested and called on the authorities to protect Christians in the Nag Hammadi area, “who are continuously being subjected to terror and kidnapping”.
Elsewhere in Egypt, a mob of Muslims attacked Christians and their property in the village of Kobry-el-Sharbat in Alexandria on 28 January. Two Christians and one Muslim were injured in the violence; homes and shops were looted before being set ablaze.
Muslims descended on the village after a rumour spread that a Christian man had taken photos of Muslim women. A Christian activist said that the allegation was made by a Muslim man when the Christian man refused to pay extortion money that the former had demanded from him.
The Christian’s home was looted and torched, and the homes of a further 11 Christian families attacked.
Eyewitnesses said that the perpetrators were Salafists and some were from the Muslim Brotherhood.
Reconciliation meetings were held in the village in which the aggressors demanded the forced displacement of Christian residents and refused to approve any compensation for the victims.
No arrests were made in connection with the attack.
Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.