Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

10/4/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We have regularly covered the plight of our Coptic Orthodox Christian brethren in Egypt and will continue to do so

The persecution of Coptic Christians escalates. If this is an indication of the attitude of the government of Egypt, the so called "Arab Spring" is a fraud. Authentic freedom recognizes the fundamental human rights of others, including religious freedom.

Coptic Orthodox Christian woman in prayer

Coptic Orthodox Christian woman in prayer

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/4/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Coptic, Orthodox, Egypt, Salafi, Jihadi, militant, Muslim, persecution, Deacon Keith Fournier


CAIRO, Egypt (Catholic Online) - The history of Christianity in Egypt goes as far back as the visit of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. (Matt. 2) To the Christians who live in this historic land, the history of the Christian Church is the history of Egypt. According to Christian Tradition, the Evangelist Mark brought the Gospel to Egypt in 61 A.D. and it has a proud and inspiring Christian heritage.

The majority of Christians in Egypt are Coptic Orthodox. The very word "Copt" comes from an early Greek name for Egypt. After all, Christianity and Egypt have a long and holy history. Perhaps that is part of the reason why the persistent persecution of Christians in Egypt is so appalling. It strikes at the very foundations of the Christian Church.

We have regularly covered the plight of our Coptic Orthodox Christian brethren in Egypt and will continue to do so. They are heroic witnesses in the ancient land into which the Holy family journeyed, a land which is vitally important to all Christians. Their suffering to the point of shedding their blood for the ancient faith should draw every Christian to their knees. It also demands a response of support and solidarity from those of us who can help.

We have also repeatedly urged our global readership to pray for Coptic Orthodox Christians and for Catholic Christians in Egypt in this critical hour. The presence of Coptic Christians in this ancient and holy land is vital. Their presence precedes any Muslim claims. Their heroic Christian witness is an inspiration. They are our brethren, joined to us in the bonds of Baptismal communion.

Now, there is distressing news out of this land of the Holy Family. Over 3,000 militant Muslims, identified with the Salafi movement which seeks to enforce a strict construction of Shariah law, have gone on a rampage burning homes and businesses owned by Christians. Even worse that than these acts of terror, this mob of militant Muslims set fire to Mar Gerges Coptic Orthodox Church.

Witnesses told Compass news that the attacks began after the Muslims offered their afternoon prayers. Michael Ramzy, a villager in Elmarenab, told a local news source that "Imams in more than 20 mosques called for crowds to gather and destroy the church and demolish the houses of the Copts and loot their properties."

This is the third Church in seven months which has been destroyed by mobs of militant Muslims. It is reported that Salafi Muslims were enraged that any symbols of the Christian faith could be seen on the outside of the Church. After a September 2 meeting with the leaders of the military and the village, Coptic clergy agreed to modify the outside so that visible crosses, bells and Christian symbols would not be as visible.

That effort to bring peace did not placate the Muslim terrorists. They blockaded the entrance to the Church and began to threaten the Christians in their home. Next, they demanded that the domes, so integral to Orthodox Church architecture, also be removed. Further meetings were held with the priests in an effort to reconcile with the Muslims and build bridges of peace which would allow the Christians to worship freely. The Muslims then burnt the Church.

We urge our global readership to pray for Coptic Orthodox Christians and for Catholic Christians in Egypt in this critical hour. We must join the growing global pressure on the new government in Egypt in the wake of all of the continuing persecution of Christians in Egypt. If this treatment of Christians is an indication of the attitude of the government of Egypt, the so called "Arab Spring" is a fraud. Authentic freedom recognizes the fundamental human rights of others.

The presence of Coptic Christians in this ancient and holy land is vital for many reasons. Their presence also precedes any Muslim claim. The heroic Christian witness of these Copts is an inspiration to us all. We must join with them in solidarity, pray for them regularly and join in their heroic struggle to protect their fundamental human right to Religious freedom.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Middle East

Hundreds rescued as Kurdish forces punch through Islamic State siege Watch

Image of Kurdish Peshmerga forces have fought through an Islamic State siege which held hundreds of Yazidi minorities trapped on Mount Sinjar.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the ongoing war with the Islamic State, Kurdish Peshmerga forces have reported a victory in northern Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Kurdish military says it has recaptured territory near the Sinjar Mountain, the site of the dramatic airdrops that ... continue reading


Islam is the religion of peace? You'll reconsider when you read the laws of true Islam Watch

Image of A crucifixion in the Islamic State.

By Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch

How refreshing it would be if some of the people, Muslim or non-Muslim, who insist that the Islamic State is not Islamic would show how this penal code is contrary to Islam and Sharia. But they will not do so, because they can't. "Islamic State (ISIS) Publishes Penal ... continue reading


In the wake of the Taliban's brutal attack in Pakistan, Christians come together in show of support and solidarity Watch

Image of 132 school children were killed by Taliban gunmen when they attacked an army school in Peshawar province.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Following the abominable and devastating attack on a Pakistani school by Islamic gunmen, the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Catholic Church has condemned the massacre. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Taliban jihadists attacked an ... continue reading


U.S. GROUND FORCES ENGAGE ISIS - No U.S. casualties reported Watch

Image of U.S. troops firing a 60mm mortar.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. ground forces have finally clashed with the Islamic State in Iraq and defeated them handily, aided by F-18 fighter jets. The clash took place Sunday following an attack on an Iraqi airbase where American troops were stationed. Several enemy fighters were killed, ... continue reading


SOLD! In a unprecedented move of barbarity, the Islamic State authorizes rape of underage girls Watch

Image of Women captured by the Islamic State are put onto the slave market where they serve as a source of income for the state and as wives for fighters.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has released a new pamphlet that gives instructions on the taking of sex slaves, selling or giving them, and having sex with prepubescent girls, and has circulated the pamphlet among fighters in occupied Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Islamist State releases video that shows drone's eye-view of Kobane Watch

Image of The footage depicts the Kurdish half of Kobane, in a battle scene that has become a test of the efficacy of the U.S.-led air campaign to defeat ISIS.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Islamist State jihadists are keeping the propaganda war fresh and stylized: They've just released a video, easily available on YouTube which shows a drone's eye view of the beleaguered Syrian town of Kobane. By inference, they've portrayed the ongoing conflict ... continue reading


A world at war: Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram, united how much destruction could they cause? Watch

Image of Taliban fighters have waged a war of insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A study from the BBC and the London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) has revealed that in November alone, over 5,000 people died as a result of Islamic violence, or nearly seven every hour. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Islamic State BEHEADS four CHRISTIAN CHILDREN when they refused to renounce Christ and convert to ISLAM Watch

Image of A man breaks down in tears. Millions of men across the Middle East, from Israel and Palestine, to Syria and Iraq, know nothing but sorrow as conflict rages across the region, consuming their children.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State terrorists have beheaded four children who refused to convert to Islam according to the British Vicar of Baghdad, Canon Andrew White. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Canon Andrew White, Islamic State terrorists have beheaded a man's four ... continue reading


American hostage Luke Somers killed in rescue attempt in Yemen Watch

Image of Luke Somers, who was born in Britain but had American citizenship, was working as a translator for the National Dialogue Conference when he was kidnapped last September.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A militant jihadist reportedly "relieving himself" spotted U.S. forces in Yemen - who altered his superiors, whereupon American journalist Luke Somers along with South African hostage Pierre Korkie were killed by al-Qaeda operatives. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Bad move: Netanyah's re-election plan may lead to political suicide Watch

Image of Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, may have just committed political suicide by calling for March elections.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new survey from the Jerusalem Post has found that a large majority of the Israeli population does not want Benjamin Netanyahu to be re-elected as prime minister. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The poll was conducted on December 3, just a day after Netanyahu ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 7:10-14
10 Yahweh spoke to Ahaz again and said:11 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 20th, 2014 Image

St. Dominic of Silos
December 20: Benedictine abbot and defender of the faith. Born in Canas, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter