As persecution against Egypt’s Christians escalates, Voice of America reports that the United States is “concerned that respect for religious freedom [in Egypt] is quite tenuous”. The US, however, has been slow to condemn religious-based violence in Egypt and, by its actions, considers religious freedom in Egypt to be a side issue to more pressing matters within the two countries’ diplomatic relationship.
8/6/2012 Egypt (Voice of America) – The United States supports genuine democracy in Egypt, where every citizen has the right to live, work, and worship how they choose.
Egypt is in the process of transitioning to a democratic form of government. At the same time the government is faced with the responsibility of protecting freedom of religion for all its citizens. Coptic Christians in Egypt constitute the largest Christian community in the Middle East, as well as the largest religious minority in the region. In 2011, approximately 94 people — mostly Coptic Christians — died as the result of sectarian violence in Egypt, 70 since the fall of Mubarak.
In recent remarks, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “I am concerned that respect for religious freedom [in Egypt] is quite tenuous. And I don’t know that that’s going to quickly be resolved, but since 2011 and the fall of the [Hosni] Mubarak regime, sectarian violence has increased. Secretary Clinton also stated “we don’t think that there’s been a consistent commitment to investigate and to apply the laws equally to the perpetrators of such violence.” Coptic Christians, said Secretary Clinton, “are understandably anxious about what the future holds for them and their country.”