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Author Topic: Persecution of Copts in Egypt  (Read 24866 times) Average Rating: 5
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« Reply #45 on: October 19, 2011, 11:26:48 PM »

my respect for Patriarch Kirill increased so much after reading this... i am honoured that he called us his brothers in faith  Grin


Indeed there is a wonderful and beautiful fraternity between Russians and Copts because they both know suffering and persecution.  I experienced this recently among some Russian clergy (even in ROCOR) which made me realize that the "real world" is very different than what is presented often times on internet forums.

Let me share with you a beautiful story from a just a couple of weeks ago.

I was invited along with all my congregation from St. Marina Coptic Orthodox Church (Irvine, CA) to attend a local Serbian Church where the Myrrh-Streaming Icon of Hawaii (which belongs to ROCOR) was visiting.  This was the second time I went due to the wonderful relationship between me and the local Serbian priest.  This time I came with about 125 Copts from my parish after Sunday liturgy.

While we were gathered, Reader Nektarios, the guardian of the icon, related to us Copts the following story with sincere emotion...

When the Holy Theotokos was appearing in Warraq Cairo (Dec. 2009), Reader Nektarios received a phone call from a friend that happened to be visiting Egypt. This friend was among the several thousand people standing outside the Church when the Mother of God appeared.  He called Reader Nektarios in great amazement describing the details of how the Holy Virgin looked and how she smiled at the people (he said the videos don't do any justice to what they saw in person). She was appearing while he was on the phone...He asked Reader Nektarios, "what is the icon doing right now?"  Reader Nektarios responded that the icon stopped streaming!  Then a few moments later, there was great sound from the crowd and Reader Nektarios asked what happened. His friend told him that the Mother of God disappeared. His friend asked a second time what was happening to the icon and Reader Nektarios responded that it began to stream again!  A third roar from the crowd came when the Holy Virgin appeared again, this time on the bell tower (first time was on the dome) and the friend asked a third time about the icon and Reader Nektarios indicated that it stopped streaming!  For Reader Nektarios, it was clear that the moments when the Mother of God was appearing in Egypt, the icon stopped streaming.  He told the story with an obvious great love for the Copts and was certain about how much the Mother of God loves the children of Egypt.

Another great link between the Russians and Copts...I know some will not accept the story or its conclusions, but there it is for you to make what you will of it.

In Christ,
Fr. Kyrillos
IIRC, the main altar in the Coptic Patriarchate in 'Abbassiyyah, Cairo was a gift from the Russian Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #46 on: October 26, 2011, 01:02:19 PM »

Viewpoint: Egypt's Copts must not submit to grief
by Yousef Sidhoum, Editor of Al-Watani

excerpt:

"During the uprising, all Egyptians flocked to Tahrir Square calling for reforms to bring social justice, more jobs and the cancellation of forged parliamentary elections. Muslims and Christians were bound by the same challenges and aspirations.

In the square a strong, unprecedented bond of national solidarity was forged. This amazing bond moved the hearts and souls of Egyptians all over the country - little wonder, as previously it had been absent in daily life except when Egypt played in international football matches.

'Discriminatory tide'

As a Coptic Christian, deep down in my heart there lies a wound that does not heal. It has festered over more than three decades as the grievances of Egypt's Copts have mounted.

In the 1970s, our good-natured, amicable Egyptian character began to change. Copts started to feel that they were rejected, marginalised, and denied their full citizenship rights both by the state and their Muslim fellow citizens, merely because of their religious denomination.

A strong wave of fanatic, fundamentalist Islam invaded our country, a vicious, discriminatory tide that flooded state bodies, official establishments and educational institutions and affected Muslim clergy. It resulted in legislative inequalities and selective rules that had an Islamic flavour and meant Copts were treated as second-class citizens"


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15385063
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« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2011, 03:27:07 PM »

Viewpoint: Egypt's Copts must not submit to grief
by Yousef Sidhoum, Editor of Al-Watani

excerpt:

"During the uprising, all Egyptians flocked to Tahrir Square calling for reforms to bring social justice, more jobs and the cancellation of forged parliamentary elections. Muslims and Christians were bound by the same challenges and aspirations.

In the square a strong, unprecedented bond of national solidarity was forged. This amazing bond moved the hearts and souls of Egyptians all over the country - little wonder, as previously it had been absent in daily life except when Egypt played in international football matches.

'Discriminatory tide'

As a Coptic Christian, deep down in my heart there lies a wound that does not heal. It has festered over more than three decades as the grievances of Egypt's Copts have mounted.

In the 1970s, our good-natured, amicable Egyptian character began to change. Copts started to feel that they were rejected, marginalised, and denied their full citizenship rights both by the state and their Muslim fellow citizens, merely because of their religious denomination.

A strong wave of fanatic, fundamentalist Islam invaded our country, a vicious, discriminatory tide that flooded state bodies, official establishments and educational institutions and affected Muslim clergy. It resulted in legislative inequalities and selective rules that had an Islamic flavour and meant Copts were treated as second-class citizens"


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15385063

I think he makes a very important conclusion...we need to build alliances with moderate and liberal Muslims to put the fundamentalists in check.
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« Reply #48 on: October 31, 2011, 10:37:10 PM »

Quote
(AINA) — Hundreds of Coptic Christians mobilized on Tuesday in front of the Monastery of the Virgin and St. John the Beloved, located on the Desert Road from Cairo to Ismailia. Although the Monastery has the necessary permits, the army had sent a message to the monastery that they would come on the next day, October 25, to demolish its fence, which guards it from unauthorized visits and criminals.

The official website of the Monastery warned of threats of a ” new massacre” by the Egyptian Armed Forces, and the removal of its fence, pointing out that the Monastery was built in 2002 and is under the supervision of the secretariat of H.H. Pope Shenouda.

When the Army vehicles with demolishing equipment arrived at the monastery, they were met by priests, monks, deacons and Copts all dressed up in white for mass, holding wooden crosses, praying and singing hymns.



http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/2011/10/coptic-christians-protect-monastery-from-egyptian-army-assault/
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« Reply #49 on: October 31, 2011, 11:12:00 PM »

The Coptic Orthodox church's Diocese in Melbourne, led by HG bishop Suriel are organising a Vigil in Federation square on the 4th of November between 5.30 and 7.30 PM. the dress code is all white to highlight the pureness and peacefulness of the original Maspero protest as well as the vigil itself.
More information is available on HG's blog at:
http://bishopsuriel.blogspot.com/2011/10/vigil-4-peace.html
I hope and pray that unlike prior protests on the part of the Diocese of Melbourne, this one would yield some results or Government action.
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« Reply #50 on: November 01, 2011, 12:44:52 AM »

http://www.copticworld.org/articles/467/

Quote
Members of the clergy, Coptic Lawyer's Association, Coptic Solidarity, and CopticWorld as well as Coptic representatives from Michigan and other states met with White House officials today in a closed door meeting to address recent events in Egypt concerning Copts.
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« Reply #51 on: November 02, 2011, 08:37:37 PM »

It's being reported that in mid-October a Coptic high school student was attacked and killed in his school for refusing to cover the cross tattooed on his wrist, and for refusing to take off the cross he wore around his neck:

Quote
Today the parents of the 17-year-old Christian student Ayman Nabil Labib, broke their silence, confirming that their son was murdered on October 16, in "cold blood because he refused to take off his crucifix as ordered by his Muslim teacher." Nabil Labib, the father, said in a taped video interview with Copts United NGO, that his son had a cross tattooed on his wrist as per Coptic tradition, as well as another cross which he wore under his clothes.

Both parents confirmed that Ayman's classmates, who were present during the assault and whom they met at the hospital and during the funeral, said that while Ayman was in the classroom he was told to cover up his tattooed wrist cross. He refused and defiantly got out the second cross which he wore under his shirt. "The teacher nearly chocked by son and some Muslim students joined in the beating," said his mother.

According to Ayman's father, eyewitnesses told him that his son was not beaten up in the school yard as per the official story, but in the classroom. "They beat my son so much in the classroom that he fled to the lavatory on the ground floor, but they followed him and continued their assault. When one of the supervisors took him to his room, Ayman was still breathing. The ambulance transported him from there dead, one hour later."


http://www.aina.org/news/20111030133621.htm


This reminds me of a young Russian soldier who was tortured and beheaded for refusing to remove his cross:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25994.0.html


Holy Martyrs, pray for us!
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« Reply #52 on: November 02, 2011, 08:46:14 PM »

Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church is speaking up about the recent massacres and what should be done about it:

Quote
Moscow, November 1, Interfax – Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations has accused the West of failing to stand up for Egyptian Christians during recent violence against them and has slammed Western governments for putting economic interests before human life.

...

He called for Christians to come together “to defend their brothers and sisters who are suffering in various regions.”

“If this doesn’t happen, we will look even less convincing in the eyes of this world. On the other hand, by defending our fellow believers, we will strengthen our positions, will become more unified, and hence closer to one another,” he said.

...

“Christian Churches, primarily the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, and also the ancient Eastern Churches, should come together today and join forces. We have the imperative need to create a community of Churches following the apostolic tradition where we would together discuss problems and challenges of the modern world,” the metropolitan said.

He also suggested setting up “joint informal information structures that would provide objective, fresh and verified information on events that are of determining significance for the future of the Church and the world.”




http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/2011/11/metropolitan-hilarion-accuses-west-of-leaving-egypt-christians-in-the-lurch/
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« Reply #53 on: November 16, 2011, 03:04:26 PM »

I thought this was an excellent interview. But its with a...gasp...Protestant Minister, so any Hyperdox should stear clear.  Roll Eyes

The Christians of Egypt, Part I
November 15, 2011 - 12:27 am - by Michael J. Totten

Quote
Ramez Atallah: ...I’d like for the Western press to fight for the rights of Muslims and forget the Christians.

MJT: Really? Why?

Ramez Atallah: Because the minute moderate Muslims are okay in Egypt, Christians can breathe. Christians can live. If there are no more moderates in power in Egypt, Christians will be very limited. But they won’t be as badly off as the Muslims. We are a sort of protected species in Egypt. We will suffer less than the Muslims.

http://pjmedia.com/michaeltotten/2011/11/15/the-christians-of-egypt-part-i/
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« Reply #54 on: November 16, 2011, 03:06:04 PM »

Cairo’s Christians worry about Egypt’s next chapter
By David Ignatius, Published: November 8, Washington Post


Quote
This issue of sectarian tension lurks behind the election campaign now being waged across Egypt. People don’t often speak about it directly, but it’s an abiding fear here — as in most other countries shaken by the Arab Spring. The question is whether, as democracy empowers Islamist parties across the Arab world, Christian minorities will have a viable future.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/cairos-christians-worry-about-egypts-next-chapter/2011/11/08/gIQAk3CI3M_story.html
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« Reply #55 on: November 17, 2011, 11:38:16 PM »

"Clashes along Egypt Christian march injure 29"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45342929/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/?

How cowardly the MSM formulates the headlines!

And the following was posted exactly on this very day, 8 years ago.

"Copts Attacked in Egypt"

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,2238.0.html
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« Reply #56 on: December 30, 2011, 01:14:49 PM »


The cunning snake shading its skin....

"Egypt Islamists vow to protect churches on Orthodox Christmas"

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/middleeast/news/article_1683306.php/Egypt-Islamists-vow-to-protect-churches-on-Orthodox-Christmas?


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« Reply #57 on: December 30, 2011, 05:43:50 PM »

Maybe the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis are feeling sorry about all the Coptic homes, businesses and churches they have burnt and bombed over the past year.  I doubt it, though. 

Here is another story that just came out about Muslim villagers burning Christian homes in Upper Egypt:

http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/575331

Quote
Dozens of residents of the village of Baheeg in Assiut, Upper Egypt, burnt three houses owned by a Christian family after a Christian villager allegedly published cartoons mocking Islam on his Facebook account.

A number of Muslim students attacked their Coptic classmate for posting the cartoons, a Muslim student told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The Muslim students attacked the Coptic student on Thursday at Monqebad Secondary School in Assiut. Eyewitnesses said the military intervened to break up the fight and escorted the Coptic youth and his family away from the village. Later, Muslim villagers set fire to the family’s houses.
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« Reply #58 on: December 31, 2011, 12:13:54 PM »

^ The Coptic student who allegedly posted the cartoon has now been arrested by the police and his father's business has been torched.  The student denies putting the cartoon on his Facebook page:

http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/2011/12/egyptian-muslims-christians-clash-over-prophet-cartoon/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45833888#.Tv908HbxPPM
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« Reply #59 on: December 31, 2011, 04:54:11 PM »

Threats are being made of a New Year's attack against Coptic Christians:

http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/2011/12/egypts-military-on-alert-for-new-years-attack-on-christians/

Quote
Update at 6:25 p.m. ET: Facebook has apparently taken down the account of at least one group threatening a New Year’s attack on Egyptian Christians. An Arab-language Facebook page (not linked to in the story but monitored by msnbc.com reporters) no longer loads.


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« Reply #60 on: January 20, 2012, 10:20:46 AM »


This morning, at least 800 Salafists gathered with many Muslim "spectators" at the church of St. Macarius in Bahtim, Egypt. They then stormed the church and occupied the area. They forbade the priests and the Copts, who wanted to enter the church for the Epiphany Mass.

Lord Have Mercy!
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« Reply #61 on: January 21, 2012, 04:40:03 PM »

^ The incident is described in this article:

http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/2012/01/muslims-in-egypt-burn-christian-homes-and-shops-attack-church/

The article also describes the burning of more Coptic homes and businesses in another village, and how the Salafis are preventing Copts from voting in parliamentary elections there.

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« Reply #62 on: January 22, 2012, 02:44:16 AM »

I wish that we could bring all our Christian brothers and sisters out of Egypt (and any other Islamic nations where they are suffering persecution) and let them immigrate to the West.  Their suffering has gone on far too long, and they would be a blessing to the nations of Europe, North America, Australia, etc.

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #63 on: January 22, 2012, 02:57:58 AM »

It is a blessing of God that the majority of Copts remain in Egypt, and it is a blessing of God that those who are now in the West have come here.
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« Reply #64 on: January 22, 2012, 12:06:27 PM »

yes, may God send more of us to difficult countries to share the blessing.
when we share with Christ in His sufferings, then we also share in His glory.
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« Reply #65 on: January 28, 2012, 07:40:25 PM »

Quote
   

(AINA) -- A mob of over 3000 Muslims attacked Copts in the village of Kobry-el-Sharbat (el-Ameriya), Alexandria this afternoon. Coptic homes and shops were looted before being set ablaze. Two Copts and a Muslim were injured. The violence started after a rumor was spread that a Coptic man had an allegedly intimate photo of a Muslim woman on his mobile phone. The Coptic man, Mourad Samy Guirgis, surrendered to the police this morning morning for his protection.

According to eyewitnesses, the perpetrators were bearded men in white gowns. "They were Salafists, and some of were from the Muslim Brotherhood," according to one witness. It was reported that terrorized women and children who lost their homes were in the streets without any place to go.

According to Father Boktor Nashed from St. George's Church in el-Nahdah, a meeting between Muslim and Christian representatives was supposed to take place in the evening in Kobry-el-Sharbat. But, by 3 P.M. a Muslim mob looted and torched the home of Mourad Samy Guirgis, as well as the home of his family and three homes of Coptic neighbors. A number of Coptic-owned shops and businesses were also looted and torched. "We contacted security forces, but they arrived very, very late," Said Father Nashad. The fire brigade was prevented from going into the village by the Muslims and the fires were left to burn themselves out. "Those who lost their home, left the village," said Father Nashed.


http://www.aina.org/news/20120127193942.htm


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« Reply #66 on: January 28, 2012, 07:46:01 PM »

Quote
(AINA) -- An Egyptian court has ordered a 16-year old Christian girl to be held in a state-owned care home, instead of returning her to her family, allegedly for expressing her wish to convert to Islam. She is to be held in state care until she reaches the age of 18. The decision has been widely criticized by Copts, who say it encourages Islamists to continue unabated the abduction of Christian minors for conversion to Islam.

"The decision taken by a prosecutor in Boulaq El Dakrour district, Giza, makes him an abductor and makes the law an accomplice to the crime," said Dr. Oliver, a Coptic activist. "What this prosecutor committed is a crime -- he legitimized child abduction and detention."

Dr. Oliver explained that these crimes are committed by thugs, criminals and kidnappers of children, and when the State legitimizes them it makes itself a partner. In addition, placing a girl under care for allegedly wishing to convert to Islam while still a minor is tantamount to abduction by the State.

http://www.aina.org/news/20120124192832.htm
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« Reply #67 on: January 30, 2012, 10:50:44 AM »


Well, one of the most crucial mistakes the Coptic community in Egypt made, was its naive stand on believing in the Arab nationalism. I think because of that they were unable to establish a geographic area of concentration. This was a big mistake!

This article is an interesting summary of Coptic life in Egypt.

http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Christians-in-Egypt-Are-Holding-Their-Breath-Part-2-Kurt-Werthmuller-01-26-2012.html


By the way, Abuna Zakaria Boutros is to be admired and prized for the bravery, courage and honesty, for being able to bring millions of dead Muslim souls alive.

May the Lord give strength and guidance to our Coptic brothers and sisters in Egypt!

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« Reply #68 on: January 30, 2012, 06:26:02 PM »


Well, one of the most crucial mistakes the Coptic community in Egypt made, was its naive stand on believing in the Arab nationalism. I think because of that they were unable to establish a geographic area of concentration. This was a big mistake!


I disagree.  It's not a mistake.  Whether Arab nationalism or not, we'll always get Muslim religious bigots.  But nationalism is to be encouraged if you don't want to isolate the moderate and liberal Muslims.

Love your country, serve her, and don't forsake your religion.  This is always the standard we must live by.
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« Reply #69 on: January 30, 2012, 06:38:54 PM »

Is it possible, though, that Arab nationalism in particular could be used as something of a "Trojan horse" for the goals of the Islamists, given the identification of the vast majority of the Arab nation with Islam, and hence Islam's eternal priority in the minds of many? For instance, I have seen many a secular/nationalist-minded Arab praise George Habash (himself a secularist of Christian background) or even Fairuz (for her contribution to the art of the Arab world; she is certainly no secularist!), but when push comes to shove, Islam comes out as the great pacifier, not the supposed unity between nationals of all religions. Friends of mine from Iraq and Lebanon have described it as such, anyway (e.g., "Hezbollah claims to the Lebanese resistance, but if you listen to X speech by Hassan Nasrallah he calls for an Islamic state").

I don't know. I don't trust nationalism to protect anybody, but I am not from the Middle East, so I don't want to sound like I'm making definitive pronouncements about how things work. I have in past referred to Arab nationalism as "Islamism for Muslims who can't grow beards", but perhaps that was a bit hasty... Tongue (though I haven't really seen any evidence to the contrary yet, either)
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« Reply #70 on: January 31, 2012, 02:06:27 PM »

We need to be careful not to confuse Egyptian Nationalism with the Pan-Arab Nationalism of Nasser, the Ba'athists, and the Ikhwan ("Toz fe Misr" as one of their leaders proudly stated). Many prominent Copts allied themselves with Saad Zaghloul for Egyptian Independence; very few supported Nasser and with good reason.

I'll leave it at that so as not to push this thread off-topic.
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« Reply #71 on: January 31, 2012, 02:31:48 PM »

That's a good point. All of the Copts I know with the exception of one are I guess what you could call "Egyptian Nationalists". Then again, I don't think any of them consider themselves Arab, either. Hm. Undecided
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« Reply #72 on: January 31, 2012, 05:09:18 PM »

Oh, dzheremi! That's another can of worms  laugh  OK, here I go... We are Arabs in so far as we speak the language and are part of the Arab cultural milieu. I think its silly to argue otherwise, but yes, many Copts in the West do seem to resent being called "Arabs". I personally don't mind. I'm an Arab, I'm a Copt, and I'm an American. When I used to visit a local Antiochian Church which was a mixture of different ethnicities as well as many converts, by the end of coffee hour I'd usually wind up with the other Arabs; Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian, even as my Arabic is quite broken. We just sort of click together in a unique way.

But you must also remember, this Arabness was forced on us. There was a time when to speak the Coptic language was to have your tongue literally cut off.  And Egyptians were somewhat isolated compared to the Levantine Arabs. These nations of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordon, and Iraq as they appear today are all basically modern constructs of the Brits & French. Yes, there was a region of Syria or of Mesopotamia or of Lebanon, etc. But there were no hard borders and such, there was more free flow of people (with the possible exception of the Maronites and Assyrians who found safe haven in the mountains) among those regions for many hundreds of years.  Whereas most Egyptians never left the Nile Valley until recently, mostly to the West for opportunities and the Gulf for work.

One last thought, the pan-Arabism I mentioned before can lead to the Pan-Islamism you mentioned and indeed has. But Egyptian Nationalism, call it Egyptian Arab Nationalism or whatever, has always been about the Copts and Muslims working together by it's very definition. Copts and moderate Muslims share the same goals for Egypt. The Islamists concern is for a return to the caliphate, this is not nationalism whatever they try to call it.
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« Reply #73 on: January 31, 2012, 06:39:23 PM »

I also want to mention that there has been non-Chalcedonian Arabian Gulf Christian Kingdoms, and they spoke Arabic (and some Greek).  There were bishops that were named Ahmad, Mustafa, etc.  This church has become extinct now, but can you imagine the liturgical tradition, how that might have sounded?

So, Arabic was a Christian language before it became Islamic.  Let's not forget that.  This whole argument "I'm not Arab, I'm Egyptian" is a useless argument today, and it wastes time with what truly matters.  There's new scholars now working on the "Copto-Arabic" Church fathers, that is the Church fathers of the Coptic Church who wrote in classical Arabic to teach the people who have already been Arabicized.
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« Reply #74 on: February 01, 2012, 09:40:54 AM »


Well, one of the most crucial mistakes the Coptic community in Egypt made, was its naive stand on believing in the Arab nationalism. I think because of that they were unable to establish a geographic area of concentration. This was a big mistake!


I disagree.  It's not a mistake.  Whether Arab nationalism or not, we'll always get Muslim religious bigots.  But nationalism is to be encouraged if you don't want to isolate the moderate and liberal Muslims.

Love your country, serve her, and don't forsake your religion.  This is always the standard we must live by.

Why do the Copts have to pretend they Arabs, which they are not?

If the Copts had won the battle in the past, it would have been right to say strategically they played a very wise role. I am sure, one way or the other, one day, they are going to win. But at the moment it doesn't look like like they are winning. If 100.000 Copts left Egypt in the past 10 months, there is something terribly wrong with their handling of the situation.

On the other hand look at to south of Egyptistan, Sudan, the Southern people fought 'from their enclave' for their freedom,, and it took them 'only' 40 years to get to where they are now. Imagine the position of the Copts, if they had the Alexandria, or the Aswan region only for themselves?  They would have dominated the whole area in all aspects of life. They would have kept their beautiful Coptic language and superior tradition in a pure and unspoiled manner. Me thinks so...

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« Reply #75 on: February 01, 2012, 10:16:48 AM »

We can speculate all we want about past events, but that has no effect on the world as it currently is. There are no Coptic enclaves, there is no Coptic "Phalange". The Copts IN EGYPT have no desire for a seperate Coptic "Nation" in a geographic sense. They simply want to live in peace with their Muslim neighbors and have their full rights as citizens of Egypt. This is the goal, not some fantasy dreamland that those outside Egypt, who live in comfort and freedom, want to project on them.
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« Reply #76 on: February 01, 2012, 02:47:04 PM »


Well, one of the most crucial mistakes the Coptic community in Egypt made, was its naive stand on believing in the Arab nationalism. I think because of that they were unable to establish a geographic area of concentration. This was a big mistake!


I disagree.  It's not a mistake.  Whether Arab nationalism or not, we'll always get Muslim religious bigots.  But nationalism is to be encouraged if you don't want to isolate the moderate and liberal Muslims.

Love your country, serve her, and don't forsake your religion.  This is always the standard we must live by.

Why do the Copts have to pretend they Arabs, which they are not?

If the Copts had won the battle in the past, it would have been right to say strategically they played a very wise role. I am sure, one way or the other, one day, they are going to win. But at the moment it doesn't look like like they are winning. If 100.000 Copts left Egypt in the past 10 months, there is something terribly wrong with their handling of the situation.

On the other hand look at to south of Egyptistan, Sudan, the Southern people fought 'from their enclave' for their freedom,, and it took them 'only' 40 years to get to where they are now. Imagine the position of the Copts, if they had the Alexandria, or the Aswan region only for themselves?  They would have dominated the whole area in all aspects of life. They would have kept their beautiful Coptic language and superior tradition in a pure and unspoiled manner. Me thinks so...



No one is pretending to be Arabic.  The Egyptian Muslims are also Coptic (in fact, you can call them Coptic Muslims, since Coptic is not a religion, but a race), it just so happens that somewhere down the line, they became Muslim.  Therefore, I treat Egyptian Muslims as if they were my brothers and my sisters, even though they left the faith.  That is why both Coptic people have EGYPTIAN pride, pride for their own nation.  It just so happens today we speak Arabic, and we've naturally assimilated to Arabic mannerisms, just as I have assimilated to American mannerisms, making me an American, as much as Copts are Arabs.  It's too late to speculate on "preserving the Coptic tongue" and "oh my God, the ancient language of the Pharaohs is gone" and "I have to speak this stupid terrorist language."  All of that is a waste of time and energy.  The energy is on the faith now.  It matters not if it's Arabic or Coptic.

The Copts that live there, there are sooo many that do not want to leave, because no matter how much bad goes on there, Egypt is their home.  We as immigrants and children of immigrants have a different situation.  We sit on our comfortable chairs and like to waste time talking about whether we're Arab or not.  But if you understand and talk to the Coptic people in Egypt, you will not find that form of bigotry in their hearts.  They see the other Muslims as one and the same blood, and that is the truth of history.  Therefore, it is stupid to think we should have a separate nation.  We deal with whatever government we deal with, and God always protects His Church.  To cry for a separate nation, and to see what other nations do is just carnal desire after another, and we make ourselves no better than the persecutors.
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« Reply #77 on: February 01, 2012, 03:57:01 PM »

It's too late to speculate on "preserving the Coptic tongue" and "oh my God, the ancient language of the Pharaohs is gone" and "I have to speak this stupid terrorist language."  All of that is a waste of time and energy.  The energy is on the faith now.  It matters not if it's Arabic or Coptic.

Forgive me for being so bold as a non-Copt and non-Arab(ized) person, but I don't think this is true. Or, rather, if it were true, there would not be such a commitment to preserving the Coptic tongue in its liturgical setting as I know there is both in the diaspora and at home in Egypt. People may assign different meanings to the use of the language (whether we are talking about Coptic or Arabic or any other language), but to say people who claim not to be Arab are resentful of the Arabic language or the Arabic culture...that's not something I've seen, even from the staunchest of the "We're not Arabs!" faction. To give an example that is not from the diaspora (so that it can not be attributed to children of the diaspora projecting their ideology onto Copts in Egypt), HG Bishop Thomas of el-Qusiya has said quite emphatically that he rejects the Arab identity, but I think you will find that his explanation of his stance is not in any way bigoted or built on delusion that he is anything but an Arabic-speaking Egyptian. (There are other linguistic and cultural minorities in Egypt for whom a similar dichotomy probably exists, such as the Nubians; they are also Egyptian, of course, and yet I doubt anyone would claim that they are "wasting their time" in asserting their cultural and ethnolinguistic rights, which is all that I've ever seen Copts anywhere in the world fighting for anyway.)

As for the fate of the language, the example of Modern Hebrew (as the most successful example of language revitalization in modern times) should be of much interest to those who push for the revitalization of Coptic, though they are definitely a minority. I am certainly not optimistic about the fate of any Middle Eastern or other minority language in today's world, but I will also say that virtually nothing is too late or impossible, and Coptic has many things going for it that other dead languages do not (e.g., a native writing system, a large corpus of texts covering a long period of development, many dictionaries and grammars describing many different dialects, a population that strongly identifies with it, etc).
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« Reply #78 on: February 01, 2012, 11:27:39 PM »

Quote
Coptic movement to protest 'forced eviction' of Amreyya Copts   

By   Heba Hesham / Daily News Egypt   February 1, 2012, 7:00 pm

CAIRO: The Maspero Youth Union announced that it will organize a protest Thursday in front of the Journalists' Syndicate, to condemn what they called violations against the Coptic residents of Sharbat village in the district of Amreyya in Alexandria.

The sectarian clashes reportedly erupted on Friday Jan. 27 when Mahmoud Te'ma, a barber, claimed that 34-year-old tailor Morad Gerges snapped pictures of Muslim girls in the fitting room of his workshop.  However, according to Ramy Kamel, a Coptic activist, Te'ma tried to extort money from Gerges, but when he refused Te’ma spread the rumor. Te'ma was later arrested, he said.

"A number of Muslim residents attacked Gerges' home and when they didn't find him, they abused his family," he said, claiming that the attack was led by Salafi leaders in the village.

...

Kamel claimed that the homes of 11 other Coptic families were also attacked, forcing them to flee to nearby villages where they have been in hiding since.

http://www.thedailynewsegypt.com/human-a-civil-rights/coptic-movement-to-protest-forced-eviction-of-amreyya-copts.html

The article mentions other instances of forced eviction, and describes three "reconciliation meetings," which were really venues for the perpetrators to demand the further displacement of Copts.  This really is ethnic cleansing.  It needs to be brought before international human rights organizations.
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« Reply #79 on: February 02, 2012, 09:04:07 AM »

U.S. Copts Decry Egyptian Persecution of Christians (VIDEO)
by Dexter Van Zile, January 30, 2012 2:03 pm

Quote
The audience also saw graphic footage of people killed at the riots in Maspero on Oct. 9, 2011. It was ugly footage that showed bodies crushed and dismembered by the armored personnel carriers driven by the Egyptian military. The audience looked at the screen unflinchingly.

The video, displayed on two large screens, demonstrated the power of technology to tell the Coptic story and Islamist violence. The Internet is filled with footage of the aftermath of the Maspero riots which began when Egyptian military personnel attacked Christians protesting the failure of the Egyptian government to protect their churches from attacks. During the non-violent protest, reporters on state-sponsored television called on Egyptians to defend the military from attacks by the Christians.

Quote
During his sermon, Very Reverend, Peter-Michael Preble, pastor of St. Michael’s Romanian Orthodox Church in Southbridge, Massachusetts told the audience, “Sitting here watching the video reminds me of how easy we have it in the United States.”

”We cannot sit here as human beings and not rise up to our feet and say … ‘The violence must stop,’” he proclaimed. He also warned the audience not to think that this activism will be done by someone else.

“The someone else is us,” he said.

http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/01/30/u-s-copts-decry-egyptian-persecution-of-christians/
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« Reply #80 on: February 02, 2012, 05:12:30 PM »

It's too late to speculate on "preserving the Coptic tongue" and "oh my God, the ancient language of the Pharaohs is gone" and "I have to speak this stupid terrorist language."  All of that is a waste of time and energy.  The energy is on the faith now.  It matters not if it's Arabic or Coptic.

Forgive me for being so bold as a non-Copt and non-Arab(ized) person, but I don't think this is true. Or, rather, if it were true, there would not be such a commitment to preserving the Coptic tongue in its liturgical setting as I know there is both in the diaspora and at home in Egypt. People may assign different meanings to the use of the language (whether we are talking about Coptic or Arabic or any other language), but to say people who claim not to be Arab are resentful of the Arabic language or the Arabic culture...that's not something I've seen, even from the staunchest of the "We're not Arabs!" faction. To give an example that is not from the diaspora (so that it can not be attributed to children of the diaspora projecting their ideology onto Copts in Egypt), HG Bishop Thomas of el-Qusiya has said quite emphatically that he rejects the Arab identity, but I think you will find that his explanation of his stance is not in any way bigoted or built on delusion that he is anything but an Arabic-speaking Egyptian. (There are other linguistic and cultural minorities in Egypt for whom a similar dichotomy probably exists, such as the Nubians; they are also Egyptian, of course, and yet I doubt anyone would claim that they are "wasting their time" in asserting their cultural and ethnolinguistic rights, which is all that I've ever seen Copts anywhere in the world fighting for anyway.)

As for the fate of the language, the example of Modern Hebrew (as the most successful example of language revitalization in modern times) should be of much interest to those who push for the revitalization of Coptic, though they are definitely a minority. I am certainly not optimistic about the fate of any Middle Eastern or other minority language in today's world, but I will also say that virtually nothing is too late or impossible, and Coptic has many things going for it that other dead languages do not (e.g., a native writing system, a large corpus of texts covering a long period of development, many dictionaries and grammars describing many different dialects, a population that strongly identifies with it, etc).

We'll continue this over PM, since I don't want to derail the thread any longer.
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« Reply #81 on: February 08, 2012, 11:05:27 AM »



Allegedly an influnetial Pakistani writing the following on Copts to the International Herald Tribune (NYtimes)

„The Qibtis of Egypt were Monophysites who believed in the ‘one nature’ of Christ. In October 451 AD, Pope Leo and Byzantine Emperor Marcian, convened the Council of Chalcedon on the eastern bank of the Bosphorus, in present-day Istanbul, to settle a dispute over the meaning of Christ between the eastern and western church. To the western church (based in Rome and Constantinople), the Chalcedonian definition of faith held that Christ existed ‘in two natures’— that he was both divine and human.

The Qibtis belonged to the Eastern Church and did not agree. As a result, they were ousted from Christianity as ‘Monophysites’ (from the Greek words for ‘single’ and ‘nature’). Their belief in Christ was closer to the Judaic and Islamic tradition. That could be one reason why they accepted Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as the true Prophet of God.“

Since when is Muhammad acceptd by Copts as a prophet?

http://tribune.com.pk/story/316014/copts-and-the-arab-spring/

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« Reply #82 on: February 08, 2012, 11:22:25 AM »

Since Muslims are desperate for any outside vindication of their false prophet and false religion. They're insecure in that way.
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« Reply #83 on: February 11, 2012, 01:40:06 AM »

Two Coptic priests are being charged in connection with the Maspero Massacre, in which 28 Copts were killed by military, some of them run over by military personnel carriers.  This takes victim blaming to new heights.

http://www.aina.org/news/20120210142736.htm

Quote
(AINA) -- Two Coptic priests appeared yesterday before an investigations judge in connection with the events of the Maspero Massacre, in which 28 Copts were killed and 329 injured after being shot and run over by and military Armored Personnel Carriers (AINA 10-10-2011). Father Mattias Nasr of St. Mary's Church in Ezbet el-Nakhl in Greater Cairo and Father Filopateer Gameel of St. Mary's Church in Giza, both founding members of the Maspero Coptic Youth Union, which organized the October 9 demonstration, were accused of causing the death of military soldier Mohamed Ali Shetta, possession of weapons, use of force against the military, attempting to storm the Maspero TV building and incitement to violence.

As evidence, the investigating judge produced video footage collected from radical Islamic websites. "Between the footage there were parts in which a shaikh called on me to convert to Islam," said Father Filopateer.

Commenting on the investigations Father Matthias Nasr said: "I wonder about the conditions prevailing in Egypt now, whereby victims are being investigated, while the real perpetrators are ruling the country and continuing with their crimes against the Egyptian people and peaceful demonstrators everywhere."

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« Reply #84 on: February 11, 2012, 06:02:33 AM »

Lord have mercy.
ya Rab irham.
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« Reply #85 on: February 12, 2012, 02:37:51 AM »

Quote
Coptic movement to protest 'forced eviction' of Amreyya Copts   

By   Heba Hesham / Daily News Egypt   February 1, 2012, 7:00 pm

CAIRO: The Maspero Youth Union announced that it will organize a protest Thursday in front of the Journalists' Syndicate, to condemn what they called violations against the Coptic residents of Sharbat village in the district of Amreyya in Alexandria.

The sectarian clashes reportedly erupted on Friday Jan. 27 when Mahmoud Te'ma, a barber, claimed that 34-year-old tailor Morad Gerges snapped pictures of Muslim girls in the fitting room of his workshop.  However, according to Ramy Kamel, a Coptic activist, Te'ma tried to extort money from Gerges, but when he refused Te’ma spread the rumor. Te'ma was later arrested, he said.

"A number of Muslim residents attacked Gerges' home and when they didn't find him, they abused his family," he said, claiming that the attack was led by Salafi leaders in the village.

...

Kamel claimed that the homes of 11 other Coptic families were also attacked, forcing them to flee to nearby villages where they have been in hiding since.

http://www.thedailynewsegypt.com/human-a-civil-rights/coptic-movement-to-protest-forced-eviction-of-amreyya-copts.html

The article mentions other instances of forced eviction, and describes three "reconciliation meetings," which were really venues for the perpetrators to demand the further displacement of Copts.  This really is ethnic cleansing.  It needs to be brought before international human rights organizations.



Here is an update on the above efforts to ethnically cleanse Copts from this village:


Quote
CAIRO, Egypt (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The radical Muslims are trying to forcibly empty a village near Alexandria of its Coptic Christian population – 62 families, on the basis of unfounded allegations against a Copt. The Copts of Kobry-el-Sharbat (el-Amerya) were attacked on Jan. 27 by a crowd of some three thousand Muslims led by Salafi leaders who set fire to the Copts houses and shops.

The violence were sparked by the allegations of a barber Muslim Toemah, who claimed that a Coptic tailor of 34, Samy Mourad Guirgis, had “illegal” photos of a Muslim woman on his cell phone. Mourad has denied the charges, and turned himself in to police in fear of his life. The Muslims set fire to his house and his shop, and his whole family was forced to leave the village. Mourad is still under police custody.

Since then there have been three “reconciliation meetings” in the police headquarters in el-Amerya, attended by representatives of the Coptic Church, the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood. According to police, the woman concerned has denied the whole story, and no compromising photos of any kind were found Mourad’s cell phone. But radical Muslims argue that “Muslim honor has been damaged,” and at the first meeting, they refused any type of compensation for the Copts who were innocent victims of their violence.


http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/2012/02/62-coptic-christian-families-forcibly-evicted-by-salafi-muslims/

The article further details the "reconciliation meetings," during which a wealthy Coptic merchant was blackmailed into selling his assets "under the supervision of the Salafist Sheikh Sherif el-Hawary. Otherwise Kobry el-Sharbat would be attacked again, and the Coptic houses completely burned."  His house has been burned down, and an arrest warrant has been issued for his sons because of allegations that they fired guns into the air as their house was being burned down.

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« Reply #86 on: February 12, 2012, 02:39:17 AM »

Aren't the Copts in the diaspora in any way politically organized?  Aren't there international courts of human rights they can go to about this?
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« Reply #87 on: February 12, 2012, 02:48:44 AM »

we campaign and protest and write letters, but we have to be sensitive as those in egypt can be harmed by too much activity (seen as collaborating with 'foreigners'.)
our biggest weapons are prayer and fasting.
also we remember our brothers in nigeria, other parts of east africa, asia etc. are going through the same things.
may the Lord make us all strong to stand up for our faith wherever we are and gain the crown of eternal life.
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« Reply #88 on: February 12, 2012, 03:33:05 AM »

Every time a chance for the world to lend her hand and publicly chastise Egypt for the handling of minorities occur, the Copts in Egypt would be the first ones to stand and say "we'll handle our own problems without your help, thank you!"  So, we protest, but Egypt does not accept.  I don't know which to take sides on though.  Because of the world is involved, especially the US, one wonders if it makes the situation against the Copts even worse, now that they might be teeter-tottering on isolating the rest of the country as if they're non-citizens.

The best solution is to find a MLK-like individual who would stand up and revolutionize Egypt's thinking and support.  But of course, how can this work in a country that for sure by law might kill us for questioning the authority in a non-aggressive manner?  We can only pray.
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« Reply #89 on: February 12, 2012, 07:20:15 PM »

In my humble opinion, the Copts will not be in peace, as long as Islam and Christiany are both present in Egypt. This conflict will end in one of two possible ways: Either Islam succeeds in making all Christians leave the country, or we succeed in returning the lost sheep of the Egyptian people to Christ. There just is no theological base for peaceful co-existence in Islam.

The recently glorified Saint Alexander of Munich said: "Evil must be attacked where it is the strongest". This certainly is the case here, with over 70% Islamists. But in this deep darkeness, there is a strong light shining, too. Remember that this is still the city of one of the Evangelists (St. Mark), of the New Testament canon (St. Athanasius), of Theosis (St. Cyril) etc. And more and more Muslims are coming to Christ.

Best wishes from Alexandria, Egypt.
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Tags: Coptic Orthodox Church persecution martyr 
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