Persecution of Christian Copts in Egypt on Rise as Muslim Brotherhood Consolidates Power
stores, set them on fire, robbed their homes, destroyed one car and three motorcycles, and caused minor damage to other Christian homes. They also threatened to kill any Christian who left their home. It was also reported that the village police did not arrive until after the gang had left the area and, except for three Christians, no one has been arrested.
In addition, Al Akhbar News also reported that hundreds of Christians gathered before the Asyut Security Directorate in the Manfalut Municipality on August 14. The protestors were demanding police protection from Muslim gangs attacking their homes and imposing tributes on them, which has become a problem for many Christians in the Middle East.
Just the week before, a gang kidnapped the son of a Coptic Christian and demanded a ransom of 3,000 EGP for his return. In another recent incident, a Muslim gang attacked the home of a Copt named Romani Murad al-Gawli, and they threatened to kill him if he did not give them money.
This is no way for human beings to live! I said something similar when hate-filled, Islamist mobs went on a rampage in Dahshur at the beginning of August and threatened the entire Coptic community. Dr. Naguib Gabriel, the head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organization, stated that the Copts have been systematically persecuted since Mursi became president.
President Mursi said he was going to be the president of all Egyptians, including the Copts. As we watch events unfold in Egypt, we have to ask ourselves, was that just a big lie, a ruse to gain power and Islamize Egypt? Does President Mursi mean to rule the Copts as a free and equal people or as the dhimmi class?
Let us pray that President Mursi is not another dictator and that the new Egyptian government is not another totalitarian state. We already have enough of these in the world. Let us also pray that the new Egyptian government will fulfill its proper functions and serve and protect all of its citizens.
But Christians in the Middle East need our help as well as our prayers. They are in a dire situation. You might consider contacting one of the organizations that is doing something to help them. I recently mentioned one such organization in an article titled "Call to Solidarity: Christian Refugees from the Middle East Need Your Help." Contact information is included in the article. The name of the organization is Arab Refugee Christians in the USA.
We can also let our leaders know that the persecution of our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East, and throughout the world for that matter, is important to us, and we want our country to help these suffering souls and help bring peace and stability to these parts of the world. And if our leaders do not share our values, then we can vote new leaders into office who do.
Michael Terheyden was born into a Catholic family, but that is not why he is a Catholic. He is a Catholic because he believes that truth is real, that it is beautiful and good, and that the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church. However, he knows that God's grace operating throughout his life is the main reason he is a Catholic. He is greatly blessed to share his faith and his life with his beautiful wife, Dorothy. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Christian, Copt, Persecution, Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood, Michael Terheyden
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