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EgyptMap reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE for the Map Legend.
Russian Christian Leader Expresses Concern over the Plight of Christians in Africa and the Middle EastWednesday, May 22nd, 2013
A recently released book by Ramy Christopher Tadros documents the escalating persecution of Christians in Egypt. “Coptic girls are being abducted every week. Churches are being routinely torched. And Christians are even being terrorized,” said Tadros. “These crimes, at the hands of the Muslim majority, are just the beginning.”
A Christian schoolteacher detained for allegedly insulting Islam was released on bail by an Egyptian court on Tuesday. The case follows the arrests of dozens of Christians for blasphemy after Egypt’s 2011 revolution and adds to concerns that Islamists are using their newly gained power to stifle freedom of expression.
Since Egypt’s revolution in 2011, more than 80 Christians have been killed and several churches have been destroyed, prompting more than a hundred thousand Christians to seek immigration and leave their homeland permanently. The revolution, which hoped to instill democratic change and greater freedoms, has instead given unprecedented freedoms to Islamists—with the Muslim Brotherhood at the forefront—to impose a radical Islamic agenda on Egyptian society.
Dimyana Obeid Abd Al-Nour, a 23-year-old elementary schoolteacher in Al-Edisat, located in Luxor Province, was arrested on May 8 after three students complained that she made blasphemous comments in the classroom. On May 11, Al-Nour’s incarceration was extended an additional 15 days, but she reportedly paid 20,000 Egyptian pounds ($2,870) on Tuesday for her release while an investigation takes place, Morning Star News reports. Al-Nour’s court hearing is set for May 21.
Christian-owned businesses were reportedly attacked by a mob this week in Minya, Egypt, according to Mideast Christian News. ICC has yet to verify the incident and the details behind the attack.
Demyana Emad, a 23-year-old Christian schoolteacher, was detained in Upper Egypt for allegedly insulting Islam. Emad denied the allegations, saying that several Islamic "extremists" had incited school students to testify against her. Similar accusations were made against Bishoy Kamel, another Christian schoolteacher, last year, Patheos reports. Kamel was sentenced to six years in prison. Arrests for ‘insulting Islam’ have skyrocketed in Egypt following the country’s revolution and the political rise of Islamist parties.
Dimyana Obeid Abd Al-Nour, a 23-year-old Christian schoolteacher, will remain in jail for at least 15 more days while police investigate whether or not she committed blasphemy by insulting Islam in the classroom, Morning Star News reports. Amnesty International condemned the detention and demanded Al-Nour’s release. Blasphemy laws in Egypt, which were rarely enacted prior to the country’s revolution, are disproportionately used against Christians. “Forty-one percent of blasphemy cases taken to court from Jan. 25, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2012, were filed against Christians, who make up only about 10 percent of Egypt’s population,” the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights told Morning Star News.
Demyana Emad, a 23-year-old Christian schoolteacher, was detained in Upper Egypt for allegedly insulting Islam. Emad denied the allegations, saying that several Islamic "extremists" had incited school students to testify against her, Ahram Online reports. Similar accusations were made against another Christian schoolteacher in July. Arrests for ‘insulting Islam’ have skyrocketed in Egypt following the country’s revolution and the political rise of Islamist parties.
Egypt's uprising in early 2011 gave Islamists unprecedented freedoms that were never thought possible under former dictatorships. Since, Christian rights have become practically non-existent following the political rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. “Copts feel that Egypt is being built anew on a foundation from which they are excluded,” Khairi Abaza, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, writes in an op-ed published by Voice of America.
An annual report released by the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) indicates that two-thirds of the world’s top persecutors of Christians and other religious minorities are in Muslim countries. The 15 most intolerant countries identified in the report are: Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tasjikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. Of these, ten are Muslim countries, the Christian Post reports.
A mass exodus of Christians is fleeing the Islamic world, writes Raymond Ibrahim for Fox News. “The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year,” The U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) wrote in its annual report. More than half the Christian population has fled Iraq since the outbreak of war in 2003 while a similar exodus is beginning in Egypt and is expected to occur in Syria’s near future.
In this article, Raymond Ibrahim, the son of Coptic Christian parents who left Egypt to the US, warns the international community that “Christians throughout the Islamic world are under attack.” Ibrahim focuses specifically on Christians in Egypt by looking at the church’s past and present. “An examination of the treatment of Christian churches in Egypt suffices as a model for understanding the fate churches under Islamic dominion,” Ibrahim writes. “Indeed, as one of the oldest and largest Muslim nations, with one of the oldest and largest Christian populations, Egypt is the ultimate paragon for understanding all aspects of Christianity under Islam, both past and present.”
Egypt’s Christians celebrated Coptic Easter over the weekend amidst heightened concern of discrimination and persecution following the country’s 2011 revolution that led to the political rise of Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mohamed Abu Samra, secretary-general of the Islamic Jihad Party in Egypt, recently said that "it is permissible to kill some Christians today," MidEast Christian News reports. Samra goes on to say that Egypt’s Christians want to establish a Coptic state and chanted 'we’ll bring Islam down’ during a recent gathering at the Coptic Cathedral. Samra’s extremist rhetoric could not be further from the truth. Conversely, it is Muslims who are quickly establishing an Islamic state in Egypt while churches are being attacked and Christians are being killed. More than 80 Christians have been killed since the country’s revolution in early-2011.
After decades of silence, Egyptian Christians are now “adopting a more confrontational approach, vocally protesting the wrongs being done them,” Mark Movsesian writes for FirstThings.com. Following Egypt’s 2011 revolution, more than 80 Christians have been killed and several churches have been destroyed while the Islamist-dominated government repeatedly fails to protect them. In the latest incident, two Christians were killed by Muslim rioters during a violent assault on mourners attending a funeral at St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo on April 7. "This is our country, we will not leave it," chanted Christian protestors hours before the attack.
“What was originally dubbed as the Arab Spring has evolved into a series of deadly seasons, especially for the indigenous Christians of the Middle East,” Nabil A. Malek, president of the Canadian Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, writes for the Montreal Gazette. Recent violence that resulted in the deaths of at least six Coptic Christians in early April is just one more indication that nothing has changed in the 'new' Egypt, which many hoped would bring justice and equality. The only freedoms gained were those of Islamists and Christians are at their mercy. “The Islamic regimes that replaced the ousted dictators seem to be bent on clearing away the remaining Christians of the region,” Malek writes.
A Muslim mob surrounded and threw stones at a Coptic Church in Wasta, a village in Beni Suef province, Egypt over a romance between a Muslim woman and Christian man. The girl is believed to have converted to Christianity and reportedly fled to Turkey with the Christian man. “For more than a month, Muslims have attacked churches over the incident and forced Christians to close their shops in the town,” the Associated Press reports.
“Christians throughout the Islamic world are under attack,” writes Raymond Ibrahim. “The ongoing attacks on Christian churches in the Muslim world are perhaps the most visible expression of Christian persecution under Islam. In churches, Christians throughout the Islamic world are simply being Christians—peacefully and apolitically worshipping their God. And yet modern day Muslim governments try to prevent them, Muslim mobs attack them, and Muslim jihadis massacre them.”
Recent violence that resulted in the deaths of at least six Coptic Christians is just one more indication that nothing has changed in the 'new' Egypt, which many hoped would bring justice and equality, as perpetrators of anti-Christian violence continue to go unpunished. Many Christians feel their rights have been all but ignored after the country’s revolution that led to the political rise of Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood. “The current government views Copts not as equal citizens but rather as an interest group that needs to be placated,” Paul Sedra, an Egypt expert and associate professor of history at Simon Fraser University, told the Daily Beast.
Coptic Pope Tawadros II says fear is driving many Christians to emigrate from Egypt, Ahram Online reports. At least 93,000 Christians have left Egypt following the country’s revolution that led to the political rise of Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the Egyptian Federation of Human Rights.
Recently released video footage shows police standing idly by during a violent assault on mourners attending a funeral at St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo on April 7, Fox News reports. Two Christians were killed and dozens were injured during the attack.
Egypt’s revolution—at one time a commendable, idealistic dream—has now plummeted toward a grave reality: the only freedoms gained were those of Islamists and Christians are at their mercy. In this article, Al Jazeera looks at the challenges that lie ahead for Egypt’s beleaguered Christian community.
In Egypt, entire Christian communities have been attacked as revenge for the actions of a few. In this article published by FrontPageMag, Raymond Ibrahim argues that the collective punishment of Christians and other religious minorities who “refuse to know their place in the Islamic order” has doctrinal backing.
Recent violence that resulted in the deaths of at least six Coptic Christians is just one more indication that nothing has changed in the 'new' Egypt, which many hoped would bring justice and equality, as perpetrators of anti-Christian violence continue to go unpunished. The rights of Christians are now practically nonexistent in Egypt while Muslim perpetrators are granted impunity. Catholic Online brings us the full story.
A mosque in suburban Cairo was used by Islamic hardliners to terrorize a Christian and anti-Islamist protestors in suburban Cairo in March, activists said. Christians and liberals are growing increasingly concerned with the Muslim Brotherhood’s failure to protect religious minorities.
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