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EGYPT : Thousands of Christians gather to pray for equality in a Muslim land

ICC Note

“Copts have been silent about violations to their rights for so long, but now it is time to speak out,”

09/13/2009 Egypt (Los Angeles Times)-Around 7,000 Coptic Christians gathered at the Father Kyrillos church on the outskirts of Cairo to pray for an end to “discriminaton” during the celebration of the Egyptian Coptic New Year this weekend.

While the Coptic Orthodox Church, headed by Pope Shenouda III, rejected such a protest, claiming that the Coptic New Year is a religious occasion that should never be politically orientated, priest Metias Nasr of Father Kyrillos’ church said that the gathering was arranged to show solidarity with the Christian groups’ demands.

The attending crowd carried signs with slogans asking the government to issue a uniform law for building worship houses and condemning what they called the forceful conversion of Coptic minors to Islam.

“Copts have been silent about violations to their rights for so long, but now it is time to speak out,” said Rami Kamel, general coordinator of Youth against Discrimination.

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