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12/21/2019 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Egyptian Security Forces have begun deploying across the country in a campaign to protect religious sites ahead of the New Years and Christmas celebrations. A priority is being given to churches which have been attacked before, as well as Sufi mosques.

Egyptian Christians celebrate Christmas in January, but the weeks leading up to the celebration are often filled with concern about how the broader Islamic society will react towards the open practice of Christianity. Churches are already frequently targeted, but because of the high profile of Christmas, the concern is greater since more Christians join in the celebrations. It creates a prime environment of opportunity for extremists seeking to target as many Christians as possible.

The Security Forces often deploy around churches during the Christmas and Easter seasons. President Sisi has used the history of church attacks to strengthen his rule of law through these forces. But on other days of the year, churches can’t count on a security presence to protect them. In some cases, the security was directly involved in violence against the Christians. In others, they simply look the other way.

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