In News, Press Releases

By Coptic Solidarity – Christian Newswire

For Immediate Release
(Washington, DC) October 14, 2019

Coptic Solidarity will be hosting the  4th Annual Modern Coptic Martyrs Remembrance Day on October 22, at the Watterson House (224 2nd ST. SE, Washington, DC 20003)  from 1:00 – 3:00 PM with keynote speaker, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB).

Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur for FoRB; UN photo

This event commemorates and seeks justice for the many modern Coptic martyrs who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their faith. This year, six NGO’s have joined Coptic Solidarity as event cosponsors, affirming the need to urgently improve the situation for Copts in Egypt and advocate #CopticEquality. Cosponsoring NGO’s include: Freedom House, International Christian Concern, Jubilee Campaign, MEMRI, Tahir Alnisa Foundation, and 21Wilberforce.

Coptic Solidarity initiated this annual event in October of each year to commemorate victims of the Maspero Massacre which occurred on October 9, 2011, in which the Egyptian army murdered 27 Copts and injured 327 others who were peacefully protesting the government’s closure of a church in Aswan. The government has yet to take responsibility for this brutal attack in which soldiers used live ammunition without warning and drove armored personnel carriers in zig-zag patterns through the protestors to run over and mangle as many as possible.

Many more Copts continue to be martyred under the increasingly authoritarian administration in Egypt.

Coptic Solidarity urges concerned individuals of all faiths and denominations to join this initiative by hosting prayer vigils and other remembrance events. Coptic Solidarity has created an online resource center where churches and individuals can find all the necessary tools to host a prayer event or any other commemorative activity. The resource center includes a church bulletin insert, fact sheet, an educational presentation, an advocacy campaign, and photos and videos.

Following Special Rapporteur Shaheed’s presentation, the event will be composed of two sessions. Confirmed Guest Speakers Include:
Dr. Ahmed Shaheed – UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief
US Representative French Hill (R-AR)
Ms. Nadine Maenza – Commissioner, US Commission on International Religious Freedom

Session I
Ms. Caroline Doss, Esq. – 
President, Coptic Solidarity
Ms. Rose Parris Richter, Senior Advisor, UN Special Rapporteur on FoRB, Executive Director and Project for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB Unit),  Ralph Bunche Institute, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Mr. Sam Selsky – Senior Program Associate, Freedom House

Session II
Ms. Hulda Fahmi – Government Relations & Special Projects, Jubilee Campaign
Dr. Mansour al-Hadj –
Director Reform Project, MEMRI
Mr. Neil Hicks –
Senior Director for Advocacy, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Ms. Naghmeh Panahi
– Executive Director, Tahrir Alnisa Foundation
Mr. Matias Perttula –
Advocacy Director, International Christian Concern
Mr. Nathan Wineinger –
Director of Policy & Coalitions, 21Wilberforce

The 4th Annual MCMRD is open to the public and media. Please register in advance to attend.

Coptic Solidarity is an organization seeking to help minorities, particularly the Copts of Egypt. We support those in Egypt working for democracy, freedom, and the protection of the fundamental rights of all Egyptian citizens, and advocate in cooperation with the affiliated organizations in Canada and in Europe (Solidarité Copte). For more information, contact Lindsay Griffin at 801-512-1713 or coptadvocacy@copticsolidarity.org

 

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