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Author Topic: Widespread Persecution of Copts: Reality or Hysteria?  (Read 2133 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ionnis
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« on: November 26, 2010, 08:59:06 PM »

For those of you who are Coptic or are familiar with the situation in Egypt, how are things day to day for Coptic Christians?  I spoke with a Copt today who stated that relatively speaking, the persecition isn't as widespread as people in the West are making it out to be.  She stated that things are relatively calm and Copts can practice their religion freely.  I was curious as to the reality of the situation.  Any insight would be appreciated. 
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2010, 12:29:20 PM »

Take the past week for example:
Two major incidents happened targeting the Copts in Egypt..

1- In a village in upper Egypt, 22 houses ,belonging to Copts, were burnt as a reaction to a rumor spreading that a young Christian guy is in a relationship with a Muslim girl. The residents of the village called for Jihad against the local Copts and burnt these houses and some workshops and cars. Bear in mind that these people are really poor, so they lost all their living!!
Amazingly, no one was arrested by the police forces!!!


2-A couple of days ago, The police forces attacked a building (under-construction) belonging to the Coptic Church in Giza governorate at dawn, because the Copts there wanted to convert this building to a church. Knowing about the possibility of such an attack, at least 500 Coptic men where there to protect the building from demolition. The forces fired live ammunition at them to evacuate the building, as a reaction the Copts of the area went out in protests and again the forces fired at them, leading to the death of two young Coptic men, and the injury of over 100. I personally didn't like the violent reaction of the Coptic residents, but at the same time, Police brutality was unacceptable too. Further more, the media coverage was biased in most of the cases, not even mentioning that the police started the attacks, and what happened from the Copts was simply a reaction. The situation is tense till now, But I hope that it ends peacefully, with no more harms.

This is a video of the attacks:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eClLde69XZA




so, it's now up to you to decide if it's a reality or just claims!!
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 12:31:55 PM by copticmind » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2010, 12:44:03 PM »

Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2010, 12:49:46 PM »

Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2010, 05:02:39 PM »

Uh, reality.

Egyptian Christians Clash With State Security Forces Over Church Construction

"Nearly 5,000 security forces with over 45 vehicles cordoned off the church site at 3:00 am on Wednesday November 24 , while builders were working on the roof. They used tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition (video of Copts being shot at http://www.fcv2.com/show-2,N-5956-Qatar-Saudi-Arabia-United-Arab-Emirates-Dubai-f-c-v.html

Later on Muslims joined security forces in pelting Copts with stones from under the bridge of the ring road overlooking the Church (Picture enclosed)

This was the second time within three days that security forces stormed the Church, but this time they successfully entered and occupied the building. According to eyewitnesses, security forces fired tear gas inside the church, where nearly 200 people were keeping vigil, afraid that security might enter and demolish the building."
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2010, 05:28:44 PM »

Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2010, 11:59:39 PM »

For those of you who are Coptic or are familiar with the situation in Egypt, how are things day to day for Coptic Christians?  I spoke with a Copt today who stated that relatively speaking, the persecition isn't as widespread as people in the West are making it out to be.  She stated that things are relatively calm and Copts can practice their religion freely.  I was curious as to the reality of the situation.  Any insight would be appreciated. 

Depends on where you live in Egypt.  In the cities where there are more educated people, it's fairly peaceful, although not without tension.  In poorer areas and villages, there is where the crime may usually happen, although the cities are also not immune at occasion.  Either way, there is always tension.  Egyptians are most peaceful and in unity when it comes to national issues as a whole.  But when there's no impending national issues that occupies the minds of people, then religious tensions tend to resurface.

Recently, His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy made some statements about Egyptian Muslims and the Quran that inflamed many Muslims and called for his resignation and arrest, as well as giving a reason for the priests' wifes' issues to resurface.  And many of you might have heard about Al Qaeda's threat against the Coptic Church when that Iraqi Catholic Church was bombed.  Interestingly enough, the fact that Al Qaeda threatened the Coptic Church actually gave a reason for Egypt (via media support and higher government officials) to unite again and support the Coptic minority (since they are technically anti-Al Qaeda, and Muslims were forced to show some public support of protection via its anti-terrorist policy).

Pretty much, to be quite honest, anywhere there's an Islamic majority, unfortunately there is really no peace for non-Muslims, or Muslims who doubt their faith.  To question the Quran or the Prophet Muhammed is a capital offense.  We as Copts are always on the defensive when Muslims attack the beliefs of the Coptic Church, while we are careful not to offend their religion for the sake of peace.  Of course, there are those who the Coptic Church does not publicly endorse that are on the offensive against Islam, but for the most part, it's truly an issue of survival and tension, along with jealousy (especially if a Coptic Christian is on a level of success higher than a fellow Muslim).  And when it comes to political issues lately, HH Pope Shenouda has been very careful to approach them in wisdom and peace, and maintaining a friendship with Muslim Egyptians as brothers of the nation despite the tensions.  This should be commendable, as his actions not only affect the Coptic Church, but other non-Orthodox denominations in Egypt and sometimes outside of Egypt in the Arabic world.  Some things he decreed, did, or say may not be agreeable, even to me, but for the most part, His Holiness still maintains excellent leadership.

The recent clash concerning the Church in Giza was about claims that the permit to build there was not for a Church but for a "service center," but the people who have been begging for a Church to be built there for so long had no choice but to make it a prayer center that they may get together and pray.  This is an example of the government making it hard for Christians to build churches (or to even fix them) without proper permit.  Meanwhile, it is very easy for Muslims to build mosques even in places where Islamic population may be very small to provide for the mosque, sometimes, right next to a Church just for nuisance's sake.

So again, you're not going to see a Sudanese style of genocide, but a "tinderbox" perpetually exists between Christians and Muslims in Egypt.  If the world turns a blind eye, it can be worse.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2010, 12:02:12 AM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2010, 06:40:21 AM »

Lord Have Mercy!

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minasoliman
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2010, 09:48:30 PM »

Just read this online about the recent events in Giza:

http://continentalnews.net/christian-news/house-converted-into-mosque-overnight-in-egypt-to-prevent-church-services-3549.html

Quote
House Converted into Mosque Overnight in Egypt to Prevent Church Services

Posted by Jeremy Reynalds on December 10, 2010 in Christian news

In an effort to end any hope of Coptic Christians using the Church of St. Mary and St. Michaels in Talbiya for prayer services, the Giza Governorate converted overnight a house facing the church into a mosque.

According to a story for the Assyrian International News Service (AINA) written by Mary Abdelmassih, the new “Ekhlass” mosque was converted secretly Thursday evening when a cloth sign was hastily hung outside a 4 story house.

AINA said it was used on Friday morning, when over 3000 Muslims prayed there, despite the presence of a large mosque on the other side of the bridge, not far from the new mosque. It was reported that the owner of the house, which is still under construction, donated it.

“Of course the new mosque did not have to get a building license, local council or state security permission, as is the case with churches,” said Coptic activist Mark Ebeid.

AINA reported that due to the minimum distance required by law between a church and a mosque, Copts view this conversion of the house into a new mosque “as a trick on the part of the government to make the completion and use of St. Mary’s Church an impossibility.”

“We are devastated,” AINA reported a local Copt said. “This church cost the poor people 7 million Egyptian pounds, which we collected by having to go without a lot in our homes, and there comes the governor and state security, angry because we built a dome and destroy it, kill our children, leave others maimed and the rest in prison for a very long time.”

AINA said church building in Egypt is still partly governed by the Haayoni Decree of 1856, when Egypt was under Ottoman rule. After gaining independence in 1922, Egypt abolished all laws except for the Hamayouni Decree, which required the permission of the king or the president to build a church.

In addition, AINA said, in 1934 the Interior Minister, Al-Ezaby Pacha, issued a decree stipulating 10 conditions that must be met prior to issuing a presidential decree permitting the construction of a church.

The conditions, AINA said, include the requirement that the distance between a church and a mosque be not less than 100 meters and the approval of the neighboring Muslim community. Additional requirements deal with the number of Christians in the area and whether or not the proposed church is near the Nile, public utility or a railway.

The new Coptic Church of St. Mary and St. Michael’s, in Talbiya, Giza, was the scene on Nov. 24 of security forces fire and using tear gas on women, children and youth who were present at the church, in order to halt construction of the church and demolish the building.

AINA said the clashes between security and the Copts resulted in the death of three Coptic men from bullet wounds and a four year old child from a tear gas being thrown inside the chapel.

More than 79 Copts were wounded, some severely, and 157 people including women and children, were all charged, with the premeditated murder of a police officer, assaulting security officers, rioting, theft and destruction of public property.

This comes to show how the government likes to play games with the Christians via its bigotry.
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2010, 12:26:00 AM »

This just makes me sick.

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2010, 11:52:45 PM »

A news report on the recent increasing struggle Copts go through in Egypt:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/9299585.stm
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2010, 11:15:54 PM »

http://www.aolnews.com/2010/12/31/car-bomb-explodes-outside-egyptian-church/

Heard about it a couple hours ago while listeing to NPR on the way home from work.
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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2011, 04:19:03 AM »

The article above said seven killed, but now I'm reading that they have raised the number to 21 dead, plus many injured.  There are already videos on youtube showing the aftermath.  In one of them you can see blood in the street.

What a horrible way to bring in the new year.  Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2011, 08:12:45 PM »

This incident is being discussed in Christian News, here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,32537.0.html
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2011, 01:23:50 AM »

Another attack on Coptic Christians:

Quote
A policeman shot dead a Christian on a train in Egypt Tuesday and wounded five other people, including the man's wife, as tensions remain high after a New Year's church bombing killed 21 people, the interior ministry said.

The shooter's motives were not immediately clear, but the ministry said at least four of the five people hurt were Coptic Christians.

Read the rest here:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20110111/twl-policeman-kills-christian-on-egypt-t-3cd7efd.html
« Last Edit: January 12, 2011, 01:25:32 AM by Salpy » Logged

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