Showing posts with label Egypt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Egypt. Show all posts

Monday, January 31, 2011

Coptic Pope Shenouda III. Supports Mubarek's Government

Shenouda III. will not take part in the public protests against Mubarak -- IGFM disappointed.

Cairo --  Frankfurt am Main ( The Coptic Pope Shenouda III. yesterday, Sunday, on the 30th of January in a public statement to Copts declared that he would not participate in the protests against the government of Mubarak.  Shenouda III. is the ecclesiastical head of the Coptic-Orthodox  Church and also the spiritual head of most Christian Egyptians.

The International Society for Human Rights [IGFM] was disappointed over the news of Shenouda's statement.  Actually, most Coptic human rights advocates in Egypt are secular.  For a large minority, the Egyptian Christians, the decisions of the head of the Cotpic Church have enormous weight, said the IGFM, also important was the statement of the Coptic Pope on State Controlled Egyptian television which was repeated a number of times.

Since the outburst of the protests against the almost thirty year old government of former General Husni Mubarak,  there has been no overlap against the religious minorities. The IGFM reported in the spect of human rights advocates in Egypt that the demonstrators are in no way motivated by religious scandals, rather, they seek the resignation of the Mubarak government.

According to estimates of the IGFM the Islamic brothers and some opposition politicians have appropriated the protests for themselves.  Actually the protesters themselves are seeking freedom and are not initiated by the Islamic Brotherhood or funded by them.  The IGFM reports that the Egyptian human rights advocates have interpreted the situation as a "war of normal Egyptians against the Internal Ministry".

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Islamists Kill 21 in Alexandrian Church Bombing

[Christian Science Monitor] An Egypt church bombing today has raised fears that global terrorist organizations are exploiting the country's rising sectarian tension as justification for attacking Christians.

The powerful explosion took place outside a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria during a New Year's Eve mass early Saturday, killing at least 21 people and wounding more than 80. It came just as some of the worshipers, which numbered about 1,000, had begun to leave. Wrecked cars and debris were left scattered in the street.

Security authorities initially said the blast had come from a car bomb, but later said it appeared to have come from a suicide bomber, and not a car. A statement released by the Interior Ministry said the bomb was filled with nuts and bearings to kill as many as possible.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Sheikh Incites Muslims to Attack Christians in Egypt

At one point, an inept, knife-wielding Muslim attempts to convert a Copt by force.

ISTANBUL, March 17 (CDN) — A mob of enraged Muslims attacked a Coptic Christian community in a coastal town in northern Egypt last weekend, wreaking havoc for hours and injuring 24 Copts before security forces contained them.

The violence erupted on Friday (March 12) afternoon after the sheikh of a neighborhood mosque incited Muslims over a loudspeaker, proclaiming jihad against Christians in Marsa Matrouh, in Reefiya district, 320 kilometers (200 miles) west of Alexandria, according to reports.

The angry crowd hurled rocks at the district church, Christians and their properties, looted homes and set fires that evening. The mob was reportedly infuriated over the building of a wall around newly-bought land adjacent to the Reefiya Church building. The building, called al Malak al Khairy, translated Angel’s Charity, also houses a clinic and community center.

“I was very surprised by the degree of hatred that people had toward Christians,” said a reporter for online Coptic news source Theban Legion, who visited Reefiya after the attack. “The hate and the disgust were obvious.”

The attack was a rarity for a northern coastal resort town in Egypt; most tensions between Copts and Muslims erupt in southern towns of the country.

According to a worker building the wall around the newly-bought plot, local Sheikh Khamis along with a dozen “bearded” men accused the church and workers of blocking a road early on Friday, staff members of Watani newspaper said.

Worried that the dispute could erupt into violence, one of the priests ordered the workers to take the wall down.

The governor of Marsa Matrouh approved the building of the church center and granted a security permit to conduct religious services in 2009.

Following afternoon mosque prayers, Sheikh Khamis rallied neighborhood Muslims, gathering more than 300 people. The mob broke into groups, attacking the church and nearby houses of the Coptic Christian community. There are nearly 2,000 Coptic Christians in Reefiya.

Around 400 Copts fled into the church building while the rioting mob looted and destroyed 17 houses, 12 cars and two motorcycles, according to Watani.

Local security forces were unable to contain the attack and called-in back up from nearby Alexandria. At nearly 1:30 a.m. on Sunday (March 14) they managed to contain the crowd and let the Christians out of the church.

Police arrested 16 young Christian men among those who were inside the church building, according to Watani. Later, four of them who were released because they were underage told reporters that security forces beat them. Police also arrested 18 of the assailants.

Some of the attackers and security forces were also wounded in the altercation. Of the wounded Copts, two were reportedly rushed to a hospital in Alexandria in critical condition. Sobhy Girgis, 33, was taken to Alexandria’s Victoria Hospital for internal bleeding in the kidney from injuries sustained from rocks the crowd threw at him, and Mounir Naguib, 41, was treated for multiple stab wounds, according to Watani.

Naguib, a teacher, said he was accosted while on his way to the Angel’s Charity building, with a knife-wielding member of the mob asking him if he was a Christian. When he said he was, the Muslim told him to convert to Islam by pronouncing the two testimonies of the Muslim faith (that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger).

“When I refused, he stabbed me in the thigh and hit me on the head,” Naguib told Watani.

One Copt, Nabil Wahba, told of how his house was destroyed. Wahba said he came home at 6 p.m. to find around 40 men hurling stones at his house. At 9 p.m. they came back with clubs and iron pipes, ripping the windows open and throwing fireballs into the house.

“When we tried to put out the fire, they hurled stones at us, while others were pulling down the garden fence and setting the other side of the house aflame,” Wahba told Watani.

Security forces pulled Wahba and his sister out of his blazing house.

On the same day that violence erupted in Marsa Matrouh, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a report denouncing Egypt’s legal system for not bringing people to justice for violent acts against Christians and their property.

According to the report, in the last year there have been more than a dozen incidents in which Coptic Christians have been targets of violence.

“This upsurge in violence and the failure to prosecute those responsible fosters a growing climate of impunity,” USCIRF Chairman Leonard Leo states in the report.

Since 2002, Egypt has been on the USCIRF “Watch List” as a country with serious religious freedom violations, including widespread problems of discrimination, intolerance and other human rights violations against members of religious minorities, according to the report.

Commenting on the Marsa Matrouh attack, the Theban Legion reporter stated that among the mob were members of Bedouin communities who are intolerant of plurality and diversity in society.

“The law of the land is supposed to be a civil law, and we would like to see a civil law applying to everybody,” he said.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Copts Rally in Washington D.C.

In January 21, 2010 on a winter afternoon, over 2000 Coptic Christians rallied, chanted, sang, prayed, and marched outside the White House to get the attention of U.S. President Barack Obama and the American public on the continuing human rights violations of the Copts in Egypt. They came from Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, and other parts of America to protest the recent terrorist attack on Copts in Egypt on January 6 (Coptic Christmas Eve), with terrorists killing Copts as they left their religious services in Nag Hammadi (near Luxor). The latest attacks were part of a continuing history of oppression, rape, murder, and forced conversion from Christianity to Islam of the Coptic people and women in Egypt.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Chuck Colson Takes Media To Task in Its Poor Coverage of Copts' Plight

The most recent Egyptian assault took place in in the ancient city of Nag Hammadi – a gunman opened fire on a crowd of worshipers leaving Midnight Mass. Seven Coptic Christians were killed, and at least six more were wounded. The shooting was said to be in retaliation for an alleged (emphasis Colson’s) sexual assault by a Christian man against a Muslim girl in November, which was followed by five days of looting and burning of Copt homes and businesses.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Pope condemns murder of Coptic Christians in Egypt

(AFP) – 1 day ago

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday condemned the murder of six Coptic Christians in a January 6 attack in Egypt, and denounced violence against Christians.

"The violence against Christians in certain countries has caused indignation among many people, among other reasons because it has manifested itself during the holiest days of the Christian tradition," the pope told pilgrims in St Peter's Square.

The drive-by shooting happened in the southern Egyptian town of Nagaa Hammadi as Copts celebrated their Christmas Eve along with other Orthodox communities.

"There can be no violence in the name of God," Benedict said.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Copts Clash with Egyptian Police

CAIRO — Clashes erupted on Thursday as thousands of Coptic Christians in a southern Egyptian village gathered to bury six of their number gunned down on Coptic Christmas Eve by men believed to be Muslims, security officials said.

Officials and the local bishop said three men in a car had raked pedestrians with gunfire along a street containing two churches and a shopping precinct late on Wednesday.

Bishop Kirilos said the victims were people who had just emerged from church after attending a Christmas Eve service, and the proximity of the shopping area might have drawn some of them to it.

Six Copts and a Muslim policeman were killed, while at least nine more Copts were wounded, two of them seriously, a security official said.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Biblical Story of Jesus in Egypt

The Christmas season is almost upon us and is a great opportunity to tell children around the world that the infant Jesus travelled in Egypt and performed his first miracles there, says Jill Kamil

Despite the biblical references to the Holy Family's journey to Egypt: Take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt [Matt: 2:13], and Out of Egypt have I called my son [Matt: 2:15], outside of the Coptic communities around the world, the early years of Jesus are not as widely known as the Nativity, the Passion, and the Resurrection. Is it not time to stage a three-act play in Coptic churches that combines the Nativity with the Flight into Egypt? It should be borne in mind that, apart from Copts in Egypt and the Middle East as a whole, there are more than 500,000 in the United Sates, 100,000 or in Canada, 300,000- odd in Australia, and more than a million residing in Europe, Latin America, Africa and New Zealand.

If the children of Coptic doctors and academics, engineers and businessmen -- and I should mention that Copts in the diaspora have built impressive Coptic Orthodox churches and the bulk are regular church-goers -- took part in or attended such a play, I wager that soon enough the schools that they attended would come to know about the three-act "Christmas Story", and perhaps it would then be enacted in churches of other denominations. What a boost to tourism that would be!

Some years ago an attempt was made by the Ministry of Tourism to promote tours entitled "In the Footsteps of the Holy Family". The first step, which achieved great success, was the restoration of sites and churches associated with the visit of Mary, Jesus and Joseph -- no fewer than 22 throughout the Delta and Upper Egypt. Subsequently, there was sustained effort in promoting the tour on television and video clips. Ultimately, though, it failed. The idea was not sold by travel agents, largely because due consideration had not been given to its feasibility. It was not possible to take tourists to the sites associated with the Holy Family because most of them were too far apart: they span the whole of the Delta as far as Wadi Natrun in the Western Desert, and extend from Cairo and its suburbs to sites in Upper Egypt as far as south in Deir Al-Muharraq, west of Assiut.

Religious tourism is a fixture of both ancient and modern cultures, a constant through the ages, and until today a mainstay of tourism in several areas. It is not possible, however, to promote this product in the same way as Pharaonic monuments are marketed, which is to say as religious buildings rather than a religious experience. What better way than to bolster Coptic Orthodoxy than by actively joining in the celebrations at the end of each year, rather than wait until 7 January, the date of the Coptic Christmas, when the New Year celebrations are over and people are enjoying the post- Christmas shopping sales? Why not take advantage of the pomp and ceremony that surrounds the Western Christmas well in advance of 25 December to relish and promote the tradition so strongly supported in Egypt, of the sojourn of the Holy Family, and extend our celebrations through to 7 January? And why not bring reverence for the past into a tangible present by presenting a three-act play at the right time, when the whole of the Christian world is focussed on the birth of Jesus Christ. The play might run like this:

Act I: The traditional scene of the Nativity with Christ in the manager, the three Wise Men and the shining star, culminating with the entry of Roman soldiers, and with Mary and Joseph gathering up the Child, and fleeing across the barren desert of Sinai into Egypt's fertile Delta.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Egypt's New Televangelist

By Magdi Abdelhadi
Arab Affairs Analyst, BBC World Service

Amr Khaled's unique brand of Muslim preaching has made him one of the most popular preachers in the world.

Such is his appeal, he was recently named the 13th most influential person in the world by Time Magazine.

In Cairo, his DVDs stand on the top shelves reserved for best sellers in the Virgin record store, next to Bruce Willis and Charlie Chaplin.

His controversial style, comparable to the almost rock star approach of some of America's Christian evangelists, has drawn criticism from the religious establishment and he has moved away from his native Egypt.

Ironically, thanks to the proliferation of satellite channels, he is now able to reach far greater numbers than he could have ever done had his message remained within the confines of a mosque or a lecture hall.

'You're fired'

Now, following on from his hugely successful TV shows - which are watched by millions across the world - Mr Khaled plans to launch his own version of the reality television show The Apprentice.

"The aim of it is not to make money, but to make the youth ready to support the society," he told the BBC.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Copts in New York Protest Persecution

This statement is from the American Copts at who organized simultaneous rallies in several States to “express their resentment and rejection to what is taking place to their brethren in Egypt, including killings, destruction and looting of their property, displacement from their homes and the forced Islamization of their minor daughters.”

Link to "the "silent" majority no more!"...with lots of photos.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Coptic Women Being forced to Marry Muslims in Egypt

This article is from the Baptist Press, and we have to say that it's interesting that the call Copts Christians. Copts who don't accept any of their core doctrines regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary and a host of other issues too numerous to mention here have given the title, "Christian" to these suffering people. How nice of them. Now that they recognize this ancient group of Christians who have more in common with Catholics than they have with Baptists, perhaps we can make some headway?

WASHINGTON (BP)--Coptic Christian women in Egypt are being forced to marry and convert to Islam and that oppression is part of a larger pattern of persecution against Christians facilitated by the Egyptian government, according to two recent reports.

"Cases of abduction, forced conversion and marriage are usually accompanied by acts of violence which include rape, beatings, deprivation of food and other forms of physical and mental abuse," said a new assessment by Christian Solidarity International and the Coptic Foundation for Human Rights.

At the same time, the 2009 U.S. State Department report on international religious freedom noted the Egyptian government fails to prosecute crimes against Copts and even has taken a hand in destroying church property and, in one case, a government official reportedly raped a woman who had converted from Islam to Christianity.

About 90 percent of the Egyptian population is Sunni Muslim, and the rest primarily identify themselves as Coptic Christians, according to the Human Rights Watch report "Prohibited Identities: State Interference with Religious Freedom." Copts typically are underprivileged and experience discrimination.

Egyptian sex traffickers entice Coptic Christian women from low-income families by promising an escape from poverty, then force the women into Muslim "marriages" or outright slavery, according to the CSI/CFHR report.

"Such abuse remains covered in a cloak of silence and tacit acceptance, even though it is against the constitutional affirmations of civil rights," the report said.

Once a Coptic girl is coerced into marriage and Islamic conversion, her family will not take her back, and if she leaves her "husband," she is considered a "disgrace" to her family, the report said. In addition, the Coptic Orthodox Church excommunicates female members who wed Muslim men, the State Department said.

Since Islam is the "religion of state" in Egypt, conversion to Islam is easy, while returning to Christianity is unacceptable, the HRW report said. The Civil Status Department, which issues national identity cards, sometimes refuses to give Coptic women a new card identifying her as Christian since it is considered apostasy for a Coptic woman to leave Islam, even to return to her religion of origin.

Egyptian law requires every citizen to have an identity card for purposes such as voting, employment and education.

Most of the cases of Coptic women being coerced into marriage are not reported and "observers, including human rights groups, find it extremely difficult to determine whether compulsion was used, as most cases involve a female Copt who converts to Islam when she marries a Muslim male," the State Department report said.

In two examples of coerced conversion, CSI/CFHR reported Nov. 10:

-- An Egyptian woman was raped and beaten since she would not have sex with the man she was forced to marry. The Coptic cross on her wrist was later removed with acid.

-- Another woman was forced to marry a Muslim lawyer and work for him in "slave-like conditions" for five years.

John Eibner, CSI's chief executive officer, urged President Obama in a letter to combat the trafficking of Christian women and girls in Egypt and to make sure the U.S. makes this issue a priority in its relations with Egypt.

"Trafficking of Christian women in Egypt is not a new phenomenon.... But this problem has now reached boiling point within Egypt's Coptic community, which views it as symptomatic of a much broader pattern of religious persecution," Eibner said in his letter.
Cindy Ortiz is an intern with the Washington bureau of Baptist Press.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Violence Ongoing in Egypt as Copts Plead for Help

Assyrian News Service

FARSHOOT, EGYPT (ANS) -- Since the early morning of November 21, the Upper Egyptian town of Farshoot has been the scene of ongoing Muslim mob violence against Coptic Christian residents. The violence has also extended to a number of neighboring villages.

According to the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), the mob ramsacked and burnt Coptic property, while Copts hid indoors fearing to go outside. Reuters Cairo reported a witness said, "Chaos is overwhelming (in the city)."

The violence was prompted by reports of sexual abuse of a girl by 21 year-old Copt Guirgis Baroumi, from Kom Ahmar, on Nov. 18.

AINA said the 12-year-old Muslim girl has been identified as "Yousra." Baroumi is being detained by the police pending an ongoing investigations and forensic results. Many Copts believe that the rape incident is being used by Muslims as a pretext to start violence against them.

The violence is continuing. There are reports that seven Coptic women have been abducted.

Witnesses said nearly 3000 angry Muslims gathered in front of the Farshoot Police Headquarters. They were there, AINA reported, planning to kidnap and kill Baroumi while he was being transported to court.

Bishop Kirollos said it was agreed with Yousra's family to await the court decision, "but they did not wait for that."

AINA said Coptic priest Rev. Benjamin Noshi was driving his car when the mob stopped and assaulted him, fracturing his skull. He is currently in hospital.

By the evening, AINA reported, most Coptic businesses were looted and burnt. "They are destroying the Coptic economy in these areas," said Wagih Yacoub of Middle East Christian Association.

A witness said that some Coptic families were thrown out of their homes, which were occupied by Muslims.

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Related Articles:

-November 21, Rioting.

-November 19, Egyptian Convert Writes Letter to Obama.

-October 28, Muslims kill Christian over Nude Photos

-October 5, Egyptian Security Arrests Copts in Home

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Violence against Egypt's Coptic Population Continues

Assyrian International News Monitor

Farshoot, Egypt (AINA) -- Since early morning on Saturday, November 21, the Upper Egyptian town of Farshoot, as well as the neighboring villages of Kom Ahmar, Shakiki and Ezbet Waziri, has been the scene of ongoing Muslim mob violence against Coptic Christian inhabitants. The mob looted, vandalized and burnt Coptic property, while Copts hid indoors fearing to venture out. Reuters Cairo reported that a witness said "chaos is overwhelming (in the city)."

The Violence is still going on. There are reports that seven Coptic women have been abducted.

Read further...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Egyptian Convert to Christianity writes Letter to Obama

Religious Intelligence

By: A staff reporter.

A 15-year-old Egyptian girl, Dina el-Gowhary, who converted from Islam to Christianity, has sent a plea to President Obama, complaining of mistreatment by the Egyptian Government and asking for his mediation.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Egyptian Security Arrests Several Christians for Praying At Home

Egypt (AINA) -- On October 24, 2009 Egyptian State Security arrested a Christian Copt in the village of Deir Samalout, Samalout, Minia province, for praying "without a license." He was held in prison for two days before being released on "compassionate grounds." Maurice Salama Sharkawy, 37 years old, had invited Pastor Elia Shafik, to conduct the sacrament of the 'Anointing of the Sick' for his sick father, who had suffered a stroke. State Security broke into his house while the prayers were ongoing, handcuffed Maurice, put him into a police car and took him to a police station for interrogation.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Muslims kill Christian over Nude Photos of Girlfriend in Egypt

By Michael Carl
© 2009 WorldNetDaily


Tensions and the threat of confrontation remain high in the central Egyptian village of Dairut after Muslims killed a Christian man whose son had taken photos of a Muslim girl he was dating, fomenting Muslim rioting against Christian targets.

Police say they have arrested four men in connection with the shooting death of Henry Atallah, who was attacked allegedly because his son took "illicit" photos of a Muslim girl he was dating and distributed them with his cell phone.

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Related stories:

30 Arrested in Clash at Church Tower in Egypt.

Egypt is increasingly unsafe for Christians.