“A report released last month by an Egyptian nongovernmental organization estimated that 93,000 Christians already had fled the country since March, a figure some are predicting could top 200,000 by the end of year,” The Washington Times reports.
By Ben Birnbaum
10/19/2011 Egypt (The Washington Times) – A man who lost a relative as Copts and Egyptian troops clashed on Oct. 9 holds a cross Oct. 10 in front of the Cairo morgue.
Egypt’s 8 million Christians face an uncertain, if not bleak, future in the aftermath of a massacre of Coptic Christian protesters and a series of attacks on churches, Middle East analysts say.
Sectarian tensions, which have simmered for decades, have exploded since the February revolution that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak.
The most recent incident occurred Oct. 9, when security forces violently broke up a predominantly Christian protest in Cairo’s Maspero district, killing 27. The demonstrators had been protesting a mob attack on a church in southern Egypt that had occurred days earlier.
Kurt Werthmuller, a research fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, said the massacre was not “an isolated event” but a continuation of violence against Copts, adding that the government’s response has been “at best careless, but at worst, on occasion, complicit.”
On Wednesday in Washington, hundreds of Coptic Christians rallied outside the White House to bring attention to the plight of their brethren in Egypt.
An ancient society, Coptic Christians make up nearly 10 percent of Egypt’s population. But many are concerned that Egypt’s current climate carries echoes of Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, when a spate of anti-Christian attacks sparked an exodus.
A report released last month by an Egyptian nongovernmental organization estimated that 93,000 Christians already had fled the country since March, a figure some are predicting could top 200,000 by the end of year.