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As Egypt descends into chaos again, watch the Coptic Christians.
ICC Note:
“Ninety–three thousand Coptic [Christians] have fled Egypt since March,” The Trumpet reports.
11/21/2011 Egypt ( – At least 33 people have died in violent protests in Cairo since Saturday, according to local reports. Egypt’s Health Ministry says over 1,500 have been wounded. The protesters believe the ruling military council—the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces—isn’t doing enough to hand power back to the people.
On Friday, tens of thousands of Islamists marched peacefully through Tahrir Square. A few remained overnight in tents, and when police tried to remove them the next day other protesters supported them, leading to fights between police and protesters that spread to other cities.
As protesters call for more democracy and less military rule, it’s worth looking at how this has affected Egypt’s Christian population so far. Not just because they are a persecuted minority. The Middle East’s small and increasingly persecuted group of Christians are of great geopolitical importance.
Ninety–three thousand Copts have fled Egypt since March. After the military attacked Coptic protesters in Maspero, Cairo, in October, “it is thought that another 150,000 Copts may leave their ancestral homeland by the end of 2011,” writes André Aciman in the New York Times Sunday Review.
The events of October made a lasting impression on the Copts. “When liberal Muslims joined Coptic Christians as they marched through Cairo’s Maspero area on October 9 to protest the burning of a Coptic church, bands of conservative Muslim hooligans wielding sticks and swords began attacking the protesters,” writes Aciman. “Egyptian security forces who had apparently intervened to break up the violence deliberately rammed their armed vehicles into the Coptic crowd and fired live ammunition indiscriminately.”
“Egyptian military authorities soon shut down live news coverage of the event, and evidence of chaos was quickly cleared from the scene,” he continues. “But the massacre, in which at least 24 people were killed and more than 300 were wounded, was the worst instance of sectarian violence in Egypt in 60 years.”
The persecution still goes on. Hundreds of Copts marched last Thursday and, according to a Ministry of Health spokesman, 32 were injured.

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