09/20/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Violence against Christians in Minya, Upper Egypt, has led security forces to extend their presence for several days. Church officials, supported by some members of parliament, are refusing to engage in customary reconciliation sessions with their attackers following acts of violence. They cite a need for rule of law rather than pressuring Christians to waive their civil rights following attacks.
Even as security forces extend their presence, history shows that this does not necessarily prevent attacks against Christians. There are many reports of security forces standing idly by watching as attacks occur and delaying their response time to dispersing mobs. A recent incident in Beni Suef involved an official tasked with protecting the church instead verbally attacking the congregation. It is also common for security officials to arrest Christians although they were the victims of the attack.
Because of these patterns, Egyptian Christians are not confident that the presence of security forces will ensure their safety. The problem is not just limited to Minya, but throughout all of Egypt. Furthermore, the security forces’ insistence on pressuring Christians to “reconcile” with their attackers actually leads to further victimization and encourages the attackers in their worldview that Christians are second class citizens.
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