Egyptian Coptic Christians forced to flee village after homes destroyed

I don’t normally choose to highlight individual cases of persecution against Christians around the world as sadly there are too many to know where to start.  However I recieved a personal message about this case and feel obliged to highlight it.

Eight Coptic families have been forcibly removed from their Egyptian village because of a mobile phone image that was circulated supposedly showing an alleged affair between a Christian man and a Muslim woman. However, Christians insist the case was used as an excuse to unjustly persecute local believers.  The eight Coptic families were dislocated late last month from the village of Sharbat in Alexandria, Egypt’s second biggest city, under a deal arranged by the village’s notables to allay Muslim residents’ anger, according to reports in the local media.

The incident occurred on January 27th, when a mob of around three thousand Muslims attacked the Copt’s homes and shops, setting light to them.  Over 60 Christian familes live in the village.

According to Open Doors, since the revolution of January 2011 levels of violence against Christians have increased. Salafi Muslim attacks on churches led to the massacre at Maspero where the military did nothing to protect Christians and even participated in the killings. In rural areas, Copts are constantly terrorised, while security forces turn a blind eye; Coptic girls are abducted and forced into Islamic marriages. Support for the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists is growing but the army still retains power.

Please pray for these Coptic Christians, that God will strengthen and protect them at this time and that the authorities will intervene in a just way to restore order.

News sources: Gulf News, AsiaNews



Categories: Christian organisations, Persecution

Tags: , , , ,

8 replies

  1. An example of human rights violations on innocents. A sign of the times for sure. I hope our elected MPs will debate and send a strong message to the Egyptian authorities that such bad behaviour stains the reputation of Egypt on the International stage

  2. Sadly it’s unlikely to get better in those countries ‘enjoying’ the so called Arab Spring

    • The Arab Spring has been a disaster for Chrisitans and Jews. At least the authoritarian regimes that have been removed provided some protection from militant Islamists. I recently heard an interview with a Christian in Syria supporting the Assad regime. They know that if it falls, the opposition to and persecution of Christians will significantly increase.

  3. Do we have any indication on what the government has done in diplomatic or practical terms in their communication with the egyptian regime on this issue. Outright condemnation would seem an appropriate response but i suppose the politics are ”tread carefully” at the moment to help stabilise the country and its move toward democracy.  Criticism may not further that diplomatic aim in the short term. These islamic groups are obviously trying to force / intimidate people to their own faith and remove the Christian  presence. What a contrast to the Theos debate i attended this week where different faith groups are co operating and co existing along side one another in a very positive way in towns and cities right across the U.K. What a contrast also to Jesus who gives us an invitation to ”open the door”. No force. no compulsion.

  4. What you hear in interfaith conferences can be one of two things: 1)Moderate Muslims who believe in equality and human rights. or 2) a kind of TAKIA, which means lying to fool the enemy, and it is justified by several Muslim clerics, for definition please check http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/2011/04/truth-about-taqiyyah-takiya-taqiyya.html and http://www.islamla.com/takia-the-islamist-art-fooling-the-enemy-t1767.html#.Tzv01MWolDs

  5. The Arab “Spring” has not really been a spring. It has been Islamist ascendancy. The Copts have witnessed the worst period in their history since the French occupation in 1798, and it is likely to get even worse. The Copts do not expect anything better from the Islamists. They, however, expected much from the UK, rest of the EU and America – at the present it seems that the West does not give a damn to minorities in the Middle East (which include Copts, Syrian Christians, Iraqi Christians, and women), and that is because it in alliance with Sunni Islamists since the immediate threat comes from the Shiite Islamists of Iran.

    We are particularly disappointed by William Hague, Foreign Minister, and his lack of support for the Copts; well for human rights really. On 9 October 2011 hundreds of Copts were peacefully protesting previous attacks on Copts and their places of worships. The Egyptian army attacked the Copts and murdered 27 of them, some were shot, and others were run over by military vehicles. Many corpuses were thrown into the Nile. The state TV incited the Muslim citizens to attack the Copts, asking them to go out to the streets to protect Egypt’s army against the Copts “who killed three army soldiers”. This incident is known as the Maspero Massacre, and all who were killed were Copts. That was the worst incident ever in Egypt’s and the Copts’ modern history. But what did William Hague say then? He issued a statement describing the massacre simply as “unrest”, and urged “all Egyptians to refrain from violence and support the Egyptian Prime Minister’s call for calm.” He added: “It is essential that all sides calm the situation and engage in dialogue.” William Hague seems to not have known that the peaceful Copts were not army or militia; that they were peacefully protesting; that they did not use violence; that violence was used against them by the presumably national army; and that the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) which ran the country and controlled the state TV were the criminals behind the massacre. Gone, it seems, are the days in which Great Britain, in the person of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe (Stratford Canning), Britain’s ambassador in Turkey in the 19th century, brought about, by pressurising Sultan Abdelmajid I, the Hamayouni Decree in 1856, and through it much emancipation to Christian and Jewish minorities in the Ottoman Empire.

    For those who want to know more about the Maspero Massacre and William Hague’s statement, visit: http://copticliterature.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/barak-obama-william-hague-on-the-maspero-massacre-of-the-copts-by-the-egyptian-army-on-9-10-11-%E2%80%93-what-their-pathetic-responses-tell-us-what-should-we-do/

  6. The link to takia was interesting but not at all surprising. Theos is basically a government think tank presenting research as observed by non muslims. Impartial in that it is not religiously tribal but is obviously serving a political agenda to further tolerance and intergration in mixed faith communities. In this sense it is biased and is presenting an optimistic picture of where it works reasonably well (say in Leicester ) as an encouragement. The danger is that it can inhibit plain speaking about practices such as Takia and Sharia for fear of upsetting the intergration apple cart. I wonder if the lack of condemnation by the government of the situation in Egypt is as much to do with interfaith sensitivities here in the U.K. as the democracy agenda there.

  7. The English word for “takia” is subterfuge – and agree that those who talk at interfaith meetings are either moderate Muslims (or liberals) or Islamists applying subterfuge with the sole intention to deceive.

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