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ICC Note:

Catholic Online reports on the persecution Coptic Christians have endured since Egypt’s revolution and the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak.

By Michael Terheyden

4/11/2011 Egypt (Catholic Online) – Life has not been easy for the Copts of Egypt since Mubarak was forced out of office on February 11, 2011. Their life has resembled a roller coaster ride. Some of the twists and turns Coptic life has taken since that fateful day are recounted below.

Due to a lack of police protection during all of the commotion surrounding the demonstrations in January and February, some Coptic monasteries were forced to protect themselves from gangs and thieves. They did this not with guns or violence, but with fences they built on their property. Approximately 10 days after Mubarak stepped down, the Egyptian Army attacked three monasteries because it is illegal for Christians to build without permission. The attacks left many monks injured and the fences destroyed. It was a brutal exercise of force against innocent citizens. Two of these monasteries, Makarios Monastery of Alexandria and Saint Bishoy Monastery in Wadi el-Natroun, are located in the general vicinity of Cairo. The third monastery, St. Boula, is located in the Red Sea area.

Around March 5, 2011, in the evening, about 4000 Muslims attacked the Coptic community of Soul near Cairo. The mob attacked the Copts’ homes and set fire to Saints Mina and George Coptic Church, completely destroying it. The cruel rampage was traced back to a relationship between a Coptic man and a Muslim woman. According to a report by Asia News, the woman’s father was killed by his cousin because the father did not preserve the family’s honor by killing his daughter. Then the woman’s brother killed the cousin to avenge their father. When the murders came to light, the Copts were blamed.

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