ICC Note: The Christian community across Egypt has faced an increase in persecution as the country has been in a period of political instability since 2011. Many were hopeful that the removal of President Mubarak would lead towards greater representative democracy, the result has been quite the opposite, and Christians have regularly suffered without the protection of a state that is concerned with ensuring their basic rights or safety.
11/21/2014 Egypt (Christian Telegraph) – Egypt was plunged into instability following the removal of President Muhammad Mubarak after a series of “Arab Spring” protests in early 2011. As a secular president, Mubarak had been a key ally of the United States in keeping Muslim extremism at bay and protecting the ancient Christian population throughout Egypt.
ARAB SPRING TURNS TO WINTER
The American-supported uprisings culminated in the establishment of a new democratically elected government in June 2012. The new president, President Mohamed Morsi, took power amid hopes of reform and freedom. However, he quickly began to abandon democracy and leading the country towards Sharia law. He was the Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood and was accused of concentrating power in their hands. In November 2012, President Morsi passed an interim constitutional declaration granting unlimited power to himself, and also a new constitution that had strong Islamist leanings.
President Morsi’s power was undermined in the beginning of 2013. The army deployed troops and suspended the constitution, leading to a state of emergency in August. At this time the persecution of Christians peaked as many radical Muslims sought revenge for the removal of their beloved Morsi, using the chaos as an opportunity to unleash terror against believers. Thirty-eight churches were burned and many more were damaged. Christians were even murdered on the streets in broad daylight while the police did little or nothing to stop it.
In one typical event, radical Muslims broke into a Christian school in Bani Suef, looting the establishment and replacing the cross on the gate with an al-Qaeda flag. Female Christian workers who tried to escape were sexually assaulted.