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ICC Note

In the midst of harsh persecution, observers are questioning Coptic Christian support for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during the 2013 revolution. Many Christians favored Sisi over then president, Mohammed Morsi, believing that Sisi would curb religious extremism and protect Christians. After waves of attacks against Coptic Christians, support is waning. Some Christians are hopeful for a better candidate in the next elections, some Christians are trying to survive and are losing hope no matter which candidate is elected.

2017-04-27 Egypt (Al Monitor) – Two weeks after suicide bombers killed at least 48 people and wounded more than 100 in twin bombings at cathedrals in Egypt, Christian support for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi appears to be wavering.

The April 9 blasts targeted St. George’s Cathedral in Tanta and St. Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria governorate, where just minutes before, Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark’s Cathedral had left after leading a Palm Sunday service. The pope subsequently limited Easter morning services April 16 and called on Copts to visit families of the victims and wounded.

Those bombings came only four months after a deadly Dec. 11 blast at St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Cairo.

The twin bombings, for which the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility, pose the type of challenge Sisi needs to overcome, given that he had vowed to crack down on extremism and protect the Copts, who make up 10% of Egypt’s population of about 83 million people. Some Muslims have burned Christian homes and churches in the past in several parts of Egypt, but fear has been spreading even more quickly among Christians since IS started targeting them.

 

 

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