Author Topic: President Mubarak Gives Permission to Repair Church Toilet: God Bless him.....  (Read 2391 times)

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Offline EkhristosAnesti

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And if you weren't quite sure just how suppressed the rights of the Copts are in their own homeland, get a load of this: A presidential decree was given allowing a Coptic church in upper Egypt to finally repair its broken church toilet. Yes, you heard correctly; Copts need permission from the president himself, to undergo any repair to any Church, regardless of its nature.

I don't think I can express myself any better then according to the sarcasm of an anonymous Coptic web blogger:

Thanks to president Mubarak for keeping what he promised, to regard Egyptians as equal regardless of their religious backgrounds, On September 25, 2005 , and according to Watani Egyptian newspaper, a presidential decree number 316/2005 was issued by president Mubarak to license restoration works and repair of toilets at the Brethren’s Evangelical church in Beba, Beni Suef province, Upper Egypt.

Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to discuss the problem of repairing a church toilet with your advisors, may you remain our president for life so that you can bestow your mercy on us Copts

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No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

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Offline Stavro

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It reminds me of the old good days, about 12 years ago, when the church I belonged to, in EGypt, applied to renovate the toilet among other renovations and the application got delayed for about two years and then rejected. A group of devoted servants oif the church had to smuggle the different material inside the Church, and repair silently without drawing the attention of the police "guarding" church doors.

« Last Edit: November 09, 2005, 09:05:10 PM by Stavro »
In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

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Offline Beavis

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bahhhh!!!..they're ONLY evangelicals! :-X
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Offline sdcheung

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It's just an evangelical church.

so whats happening to the indigenous Coptic ORTHODOX Church?

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Offline Fr. George

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If the Evangelicals are being treated this way, then the Orthodox are getting as bad if not worse...

Let's pray the situation lightens for both.
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Offline TomS

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Egypt's Christian-Muslim divide
Mona Eltahawy International Herald Tribune
CAIRO Of the many things one should not mention in polite company in Egypt, friction between Muslims and Christians is near the top of the list. Try mentioning that Christians in Egypt are discriminated against and you might as well stand atop the Giza pyramids waving white flags festooned with "Invade Now" at the imaginary American tanks at the border.
But we're way beyond polite conversation.
When an Egyptian nun coming out of a prayer service at St. George's Church in Alexandria is stabbed by a Muslim man in his 20s shouting the requisite "God is great," we need to talk.
When thousands of Muslims attack seven churches in two Alexandria neighborhoods after someone distributes a DVD of a play deemed offensive to Islam (a play that was staged two years ago), and when three Muslims die and dozens are injured after riot police fire tear gas and use batons to dispel 5,000 protestors outside St. George's, we need to talk.

When Christians in Alexandria, once a cosmopolitan home to Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, are afraid to leave their homes and when women remove crucifixes out of fear of violence and insult, we need to talk.
I could go on, but you get my drift.
As a Muslim Egyptian, I am stunned by October's riots in Alexandria. Why are Muslims in Egypt full of the arrogance of a majority that demands an apology for a two-year-old play but none of the confidence to brush off offense at such a small matter? Is Islam so fragile that Muslims need to riot to protect it?
As the fabric of religious tolerance has grown thin in Egypt, more often than not it is the Christian minority that bears the brunt.
In Egypt, Christian Copts, who make up between 5 and 10 percent of the population, can count no mayors, no public university presidents or deans, and there are few Christians in the upper ranks of the security services and armed forces. There are only two or three Christian ministers at any given time, and Christians are underrepresented in Parliament. President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party nominated just two Christians to run in this week's parliamentary elections. One pulled out after the Alexandria riots.
Successive governments have been all too happy to sit back and watch the growing fundamentalism and politicization of religion that has shadowed both Egypt's Muslims and Christians over the past few decades, too often encouraging it as a way to divert attention from their own shortcomings. The violence born of such growing extremism will consume us all.
Our biggest hope is a burgeoning opposition movement launched late last year by Muslims and Christians who lead street protests in Cairo as Egyptians first and foremost. Minority rights in Egypt are central to the debate on reform and democracy that Egypt has been having since those protestors took to the streets in 2004.
If efforts to secure those rights happen to coincide with similar calls from the Bush administration or anyone else, so be it. We cannot brush minorities under the rugs of denial that governments across the Arab world have pulled out simply because the United States claims it is paying more attention to how they treat their citizens.
To appreciate the geopolitical dimensions of this issue, consider a Christian's phone call to a recent Egyptian talk show on sectarian relations. The man said he would rather be killed by Muslim extremists than have America come to save him. Muslim guests on the show jumped to assure him they'd defend him tooth and nail against extremists. Just a few weeks later, the riots broke out in front of the church in Alexandria, and I have yet to hear that Muslims, other than the police, offered to keep vigil.
Minority rights in Egypt also belong to the debate about Iraq and its new ethnic and sectarian power structures. Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority, long used to privilege under Saddam Hussein, is now struggling to adjust to its newly reduced status, often with violent results. As Arab Sunni governments, including Egypt's, call on Iraq's Shia and Kurdish-dominated government to respect Sunni minority rights, they would do well to look to their own minorities lest stones shatter their own decrepit glass houses.
Muslim-majority countries must also be more sensitive to minority rights not just because it is the morally correct thing to do but also because the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and others since have thrust Muslim minorities in the West onto an uncomfortable stage of permanent suspicion. To defend the rights of those Muslim minorities and not appear at best hypocritical, we must treat our own minorities with respect.
It is time to brush aside the canard of sectarian harmony in Egypt. I will be accused, no doubt, of providing ammunition for Egypt's "enemies." But my criticism is aimed not at my beloved Egypt but at injustice and violence born of religion and politics.
As a Muslim Egyptian who has lived in the United States for the past five years, I have learned to move between majority and minority. And I know there's a lot to talk about.

Offline SaintShenouti

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bahhhh!!!..they're ONLY evangelicals!

That's true.  Ironically, it's nice to know though that we're not the only Christians being picked on by the Egyptian government.  Could this be a demonstration of Muslim "equal-opportunity" policy?  ;D  I personally do not appreciate Evangelical presence and work  in Egypt, or in any other traditionally Orthodox land for that matter.

If the Evangelicals are being treated this way, then the Orthodox are getting as bad if not worse...

Let's pray the situation lightens for both.

That's true as well.  It seems our native Orthodox church has been the object of more government abuse than any foreign Christian presence.  They seem less hesitant when knowing the ones they're after are native citizens.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2005, 10:05:48 AM by SaintShenouti »

Offline MBZ

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Hi all!

I saw this in today's The Christian Science Monitor:

Christian TV hits Egypt's airwaves

Aghapy TV, owned by the Coptic Christian church, says it wants to promote unity. Critics worry it will do the opposite.

By Sarah Gauch | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

CAIRO - Aghapy TV, the first completely Christian, Egyptian-run television channel, is hitting the airwaves at a particularly delicate time.

Aimed at promoting the teachings of the Coptic Christian faith around the world, the station made its debut last month with 24-hour programming that will eventually include church services, documentaries on saints, and family programs, all in several languages. Funded by donations from around the world and owned by the Coptic Church, it airs on a US-operated satellite network.

Aghapy TV's executive director, Father Bishoy Al-Antony, says the channel's goal is to foster better relations between Copts, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population, and the Muslim majority. "Our aim is to get Christians and Muslims closer together," he says. "God is love, and we will show them our God and our love."

But the effort comes amid growing tensions between Christians and Muslims. Just weeks before Aghapy's debut, sectarian riots broke out in Alexandria, killing three people. Parliamentary elections, which end Thursday, are giving surprise victories to the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood.

Copts and Muslims trade insults in Internet chat rooms and Islamic satellite programs criticize Christianity, while non-Egyptian Christian satellite stations target Islam. Analysts worry that a station like Aghapy could deepen the sectarian divide.

"I am against Christians having one TV station and Muslims having another," says democracy activist Negad Al-Borai. "This is part of the problem, not the solution."

Copts and Muslims talk nostalgically about a time when religious affiliation mattered far less. That was before the 1970s, when former Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat began supporting Islamic groups in a bid to counter leftist groups. Sadat announced that he was a Muslim president for a Muslim nation, and made Islamic law Egypt's main source of legislation.

While Egypt's constitution provides religious freedoms for citizens, the Hamayonic Decree, a remnant from Ottoman law, remains in force, requiring a presidential permit to build, renovate, or even make minor repairs to churches.

Discrimination prevents Copts from serving in senior government posts, the police, and military. No Copts are governors or public university deans. Earlier this month, US lawmakers warned that their support for US aid to Egypt will depend on greater governmental protection for Copts.

"Why not let a Copt work in government?" says Bassem, a Coptic accountant, who had aspired to be a diplomat. "In our universities you can't enter certain colleges. It's clear: You're a Copt, you can't enter."

One Copt elected

This year, the ruling National Democratic Party nominated just two Christians for the 444 electable seats in Egypt's parliamentary elections. Only one Copt, Youssef Boutros-Ghali, has been elected to date. As Egypt's finance minister and nephew to former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Mr. Boutros-Ghali had considerable influence within the party.

Analysts say that discrimination against Copts has contributed to the rise in sectarian violence. In late 2004, thousands of Christian protesters clashed with police over the alleged forced conversion of a priest's wife to Islam. In 2000, 21 Christians were killed when sectarian fighting erupted in the southern village of Kosheh.

Muslim-Copt segregation is growing

The tensions between Copts and Muslims are rooted in an increasing segregation, commentators say. With the country more fundamentally religious and with government services in decline, Muslims have tended to turn to mosques for help, while, more recently, Christians have turned to their churches.

Some private companies restrict their hiring to a particular sect, while schools often inculcate in children a sense of religious distinctions.

"More and more day-to-day life revolves around the church for Copts and around the mosques for Muslims, which makes them more divided," says Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, a Copt and former parliamentarian with the opposition Wafd party. "This is an extremely dangerous situation."

The gains of the Muslim Brotherhood during the elections, using the slogan "Islam is the solution," are chilling for some Copts. "It's a catastrophe," says Adel, a Coptic manager at a glassmaking firm. "It will make our situation much worse."

Indeed, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood argued this week against letting Christians hold senior leadership positions. "If we are to apply the Islamic rule, which says that non-Muslims have no guardianship over Muslims, then a Christian may not be president," Mohamed Habib insisted.

Government officials argue that they are addressing the sectarian tensions in Egypt. "Whenever there is a complaint, we act right away," says Osama Al-Baz, President Hosni Mubarak's political adviser. "Not through police measures, but by amicable means, by talking to people and telling them that it is a travesty of justice to treat a non- Muslim differently than a Muslim."

Some civil groups are trying to bridge the divides. After the riots in Alexandria, two nongovernmental organizations conducted a fact-finding mission there, later recommending that a committee of both religions be formed to discuss solutions. Egypt's National Council of Human Rights, which has close ties to the government, also is studying sectarian problems.

Activists say that greater democratic reforms will strengthen religious rights. "With freedom and democracy and the right to participate," says Fahmy Howeidy, a political analyst, "people will believe that this is their country, to build together."


Be well!

"Peace, peace to him that is far off and to him that is near." [Isaiah 57:19]

"Gather your wits and hold on fast..." [The Who]

"Lose your dreams and you could lose your mind." [The Rolling Stones]


Offline MBZ

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Hi all!

I just heard this one this week about the recent Egyptian "elections":

Did you hear that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was just re-elected?

Yeah, he got 87% & the guy in second place got 5 years (see;_ylt=AgRmkiBAxOJCoh5wfiij7E_FCBEB;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl).

Be well!

"Peace, peace to him that is far off and to him that is near." [Isaiah 57:19]

"Gather your wits and hold on fast..." [The Who]

"Lose your dreams and you could lose your mind." [The Rolling Stones]