July 28, 2014

Coptic march Melbourne – What you didn’t see

Church in Nag Hammadi

H/T Free Copts Gates of Vienna also asks "Where is Freedom of Religion?" … [Read more...]

The silence of the EP to events in world Orthodoxy

Several important events of the last week involve Orthodox Christians around the world including the protest by Palestinian Christians against the alleged corruption of the Patriarch of Jerusalem (see: Palestinian Christians jeer Greek Orthodox leader; also see: Patriarch could become persona non grata in Bethlehem) and the Muslim persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt (see: 8 Coptic Christians in Egypt Shot Dead As They Left Christmas Mass). Notable is the silence of the Ecumenical Patriarch concerning these events. Not so with Rome. From the Assyrian News Agency: Pope Condemns Religious Attacks After Copt Deaths VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -- Pope Benedict called on political and religious authorities on Sunday to prevent violence against Christians, in an apparent reference to recent attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt. "Violence against Christians ... has caused indignation among many people, particularly because it has taken place on the most sacred days of the Christian … [Read more...]

U.S. Ambassador praises Egypt’s Freedom of the Press and Human Rights; Copts say otherwise

A friend sent me this translation of an original article in Arabic here. During her visit to Tanta University Scobey praises Freedom of the Press and Human Rights in Egypt Monday 14th of December 2009 Gharbia: Hend Adel Margaret Scobey, the United States of America’s Ambassador to Egypt affirmed that there is no differentiation between minorities in Egypt and described it as the country of civil coexistence, where there are some cases that reach the level of slight conflict, that Egypt aims to solve before they develop, in light of it enjoying full freedom of the press and Human Rights organizations work there in complete freedom. … [Read more...]

Report: Egyptian State Security Accused of Cover-up in Muslim Riots

From the Assyrian International News Agency. (HT: The Volokh Conspiracy): Cairo (AINA) -- In an effort to cover up the Muslim mob violence against the Copts which broke out last week in the town of Farshoot and neighboring villages (AINA 11-22-2009, 11-23-2009), and in view of the complete news blackout imposed by the Egyptian government, Egyptian State Security has intensified its pressure on the Coptic Church in Nag Hammadi and the victims of the violence into accepting extrajudicial reconciliation with the perpetrators, and opening their businesses without any compensation. Similar State Security scenarios have been experienced by Copts in all sectarian incidents in the past, in which they always come out as losers, having been forced to give up civil and criminal charges, while the criminals get away scot-free. "There will be no reconciliation before full financial compensation has been paid to the Coptic victims, and the criminals are brought to justice, so that safety … [Read more...]

A ‘somber’ time for Egypt’s Copts

Christ the Teacher (Coptic icon)

From the Times (UK): The first two months of the Coptic new year have been a somber time for Egypt’s ancient Christian community. The new year fell on the inauspicious date of September 11. And a spate of attacks on this large and downtrodden community by Islamist extremists or villagers giving a religious pretext to petty quarrels have provoked accusations of officially tolerated discrimination and heightened fears that Islamists will be emboldened to undercut the laws that promise religious freedom and legal equality in Egypt. Clashes broke out in Kafr al-Barbaqri, a Nile delta town, in July after a shopkeeper stabbed a teenager to death in a dispute over an empty soda bottle. The Christian grocer had refused to give the Muslim boy a partial refund, and in the ensuing argument the grocer struck the boy with a knife, leading to his death. Dozens of Muslims went on the rampage, setting fire to the grocer’s house and the one next door, leading to 30 arrests. A month earlier … [Read more...]

Egypt’s Copts the ‘New Martyrs’?

Perilous times for Egypt's Christian community. In "Egypt's Coptic Christians Are Choosing Isolation," the Washington Post reports that "the most populous Christian community in the Middle East is seeking safety by turning inward, cutting day-to-day social ties that have bound Muslim to Christian in Egypt for centuries." The story notes a dramatic decline in of the Coptic Christian population in Egypt. Violent confrontations between Muslims and Christians are on the upswing. In May, Arab Bedouins attacked monks reclaiming the 1,700-year-old monastery of Abu Fana. Monks say the attackers fired on them with AK-47 assault rifles and captured some among them to torture. Attackers broke the legs of one monk by pounding them between two rocks. One Muslim man was killed. A few days earlier, gunmen in Cairo killed four Copts at a jewelry store but left without taking anything. Strife over liaisons between Christian and Muslim men and women led to recent clashes between the … [Read more...]