This Letter was cosponsored by Coptic Solidarity and 21Wilberforce. The below organizations, churches, and individuals cosigned it at short notice, prior to being sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee Leadership.
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Dear Chairman Engel,
We write as an informal group of 25 organizations and individuals who are scholars, religious and secular leaders, human rights advocates and practitioners who have joined our voices to respectfully urge you bring H. RES. 49, Supporting Coptic Christians in Egypt to mark-up in the next MENA Subcommittee meeting. This resolution has strong bi-partisan support with 76 cosponsors.
During the HFAC hearing hosted recently, Egypt: Trends in Politics, Economics, and Human Rights, damning evidence was presented by survivors and policy experts regarding the worst crackdown on civil society and human rights that Egypt has seen in decades. We believe that passage of this resolution supporting the largest Christian minority in the Middle East would convey a critical message of accountability to the Egyptian government.
While the current crack down in Egypt has impacted Egyptians of all political and religious persuasions, the Coptic community suffers the double injustice of not only living under systematic discrimination by the Egyptian government, but also experiences attacks from neighbors and fellow countrymen who attack Copts and their properties with impunity. Coptic Solidarity has documented and published on these issues extensively, including this analysis of the most recent State Department’s Egypt chapter of the annual IRF report.
We previously wrote to you as a joint group of multi-faith NGOS and individuals, urging your action on behalf of imprisoned Coptic activist, Ramy Kamel, who continues to languish in prison for no other reason than creating awareness and advocating on behalf of persecuted Copts in Egypt. UN Special Rapporteurs have also published statements on his behalf acknowledging that his imprisonment is in retaliation for his human rights work and cooperation with the United Nations.
As the second largest recipient of US foreign aid, we believe that the Egyptian government must be held accountable for its human rights violations that are in clear opposition to American values of equality and religious liberty.
We urge you to mark-up H.RES. 49 before this session of Congress ends.
- Center for Studies on New Religions
- Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
- Coptic Solidarity
- Global Imams Council
- In Defense of Christians
- Institute for Global Engagement
- International Christian Concern
- Jubilee Campaign USA
- Middle East Forum
- Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America
- The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
- The Uyghur Human Rights Project
- Father John Anderson
Saint John the Merciful Mission
- Hamid Gharagozloo
The US Representative, International Organization to Preserve Human Rights
- Bishop Joseph K. Grieboski
Senior Fellow, The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute
- Dr. Carl Herbster
- Lauren B. Homer
President, Law and Liberty International
- Dr. Shannon Kroner
Executive Director, Freedom of Religion – United Solutions
- Greg Mitchell
Chair, International Religious Freedom Roundtable
- Scott Morgan
President, Red Eagle Enterprises
- Daniel Pipes
President, Middle East Forum
- Nina Shea
Director, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom
- Imam Shaikh M. Tawhidi
- Rev. Susan Taylor
National Public Affairs Director, Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
Photo Credit: AP – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., left, and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the ranking member, confer as the panel holds a hearing titled, “The Betrayal of our Syrian Kurdish Partners,” Oct. 23, 2019.