Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Terheyden

4/10/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In an endless cycle of meaningless violence, Muslims have attacked their Coptic Christian neighbors yet again. It seems there is no rhyme or reason in Egypt these days, only rumors and violence, shadows and blood born out of ignorance and hatred.

Coptic funeral at St. Mark's Church in Cairo, Egypt

Coptic funeral at St. Mark's Church in Cairo, Egypt

Highlights

By Michael Terheyden

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/10/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Copt, Christian, Persecution, Khosous, Cairo, Egypt, St. Mark's Church, Michael Terheyden


KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - In an endless cycle of meaningless violence, Muslims have attacked their Coptic Christian neighbors yet again. It seems there is no rhyme or reason in Egypt these days, only rumors and violence, shadows and blood born out of ignorance and hatred.

Of course, there are always explanations each time violence erupts. Some of the explanations for this latest round of violence are as follows:

According to reports, it began around April 5 in the Khosous district just outside Cairo. Swastikas had been drawn on a mosque. Some Muslims blamed Christian children, but Mohamad Yousry, the local security force manager, said two Muslim children did it, and that the mosque Imam had confronted the Muslim children about it. Nevertheless, rumors about Christians defacing the mosque created a stir within the Muslim community.

As a result of the rumors, a mob of Muslims gathered near Saint George's Coptic Church. Copts responded to the threatening mob by forming a human shield to protect the church. Then people heard the gunshots. When it was over, four Copts and one Muslim lay dead in front of the church. Security forces arrived about five hours later. Fighting could be heard throughout the night, and some Christian buildings were set on fire.

Father Sourial Younan believes another reason may have sparked the violence. He said that some Muslims had sexually harassed some Coptic girls. A Coptic activist, Nader Shoukry, believes the incident was instigated by a neighboring Muslim religious institution in order to "purify the region of Christians."

But the violence did not end that night. A funeral for the four dead Copts was held at Saint Mark's Church in Cairo on April 7. As the Copts funneled out of the church for the funeral procession, they were attacked again. This time Muslims threw stones and Molotov cocktails at them. Muslims also set fire to the Mar Girgis kindergarten, a Baptist church, and some Christian shops. When it was over, at least one person was killed and about 80 people were injured.

Father Suriel, who serves at the church of Mar Girgis, believes "some imams incited a mob against the Copts and the church during a meeting in the mosque." Others believe the violence was orchestrated by the Morsi government "to cover up the turmoil and demonstrations in the country."

However, Muslim leaders denounced the violence, at least publicly. President Mohamed Morsi  said, "Every attack on the cathedral is an attack on my person." The Muslim Brotherhood called on all Egyptians to "reject and condemn violence. The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayyeb said, "the blood of all the Egyptians is precious."

But based on another report, we are told that the Interior Ministry issued a statement blaming the violence outside Saint Mark's Church on the Coptic funeral mourners. In the midst of this latest round of violence and the conflicting statements, Tawadros II, the Coptic Patriarch, emphasized calm, people's safety and Egyptian unity. 

One thing is for certain, the Copts are caught in an endless cycle of violence with their Muslim neighbors. Furthermore, this violence is often ignited by nothing more than baseless rumors. To me, this is a sign of ignorance and hatred, and it reminds me how easily ignorant, hate-filled people can be manipulated by those with power and influence.

Clearly, the Coptic Christians suffering such hell at the hands of their neighbors need our prayers, but so do all Egyptians. No one is safe in a land filled with murky shadows and blood. 

 
-----

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.

---


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


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Middle East

30 tribesmen in western Iraq executed by Islamic State (WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS)

Image of More than 1,000 heavily-armed tribesmen and some troops left the town in around 500 vehicles to take refuge in the nearby town of Barwana.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

More than 30 tribesmen were executed by Islamic State in western Iraq this week. In the meantime, government forces are continuing their offensive against the extremist militants across the country. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Islamic State captured ... continue reading


Muslims criticize the Islamic State for perverting Islam Watch

Image of Fighters from the Islamic State watch over captured Syrian soldiers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new voice in the international community is speaking out against the Islamic State; over 100 Muslim leaders have signed a 17-page letter that criticizes and condemns the terrorist state, their actions in Iraq and Syria, and their interpretation of the Quran and ... continue reading


U.S. journalist endured continuous torture before being executed by ISIS Watch

Image of In spite of all of his torture, James Foley would share his limited rations with other captives, and gave up his blanket to somebody else in the depths of winter, other prisoners said.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Forty-year-old U.S. journalist James Foley suffered torture at the hands of his ISIS captors before they killed him. Captured in 2012 and executed in 2014, his torments included waterboarding, virtual starvation and being hung upside-down by his ankles. LOS ... continue reading


Into the wrong hands: ISIS fighters seize weapons from U.S. airdrop Watch

Image of The incident was more of an embarrassment than a strategic loss. ISIL fighters already possess millions of dollars' worth of U.S. weaponry that they captured from fleeing Iraqi soldiers when the group seized swaths of Iraq in June.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State fighters are believed to have seized at least one cache of weapons airdropped by the U.S. The payload reportedly missed besieged Kurdish militias defending the Syrian border town of Kobane. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Yesterday we announced ... continue reading


HORRIFIC video shows Islamic State stoning Yazidi woman - by group of men, including HER father Watch

Image of In a related incident, a man was executed in Idlib province in an area controlled by Islamist groups including the Nusra Front, al Qaeda's official affiliate in Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A sickening video of a young woman being stoned to death by a group of men, which includes her own father, has been released by Islamic State. The video is believed to have been filmed in the city of Hama. The clip shows a bearded cleric ranting at the woman in ... continue reading


Yazidi woman 'I've been raped 30 times and it's not even lunchtime!' Watch

Image of A Yazidi woman over the telephone that she had been raped so frequently that she could no longer use the toilet. She says that her despair is so great she will commit suicide - even if she is freed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A young Yazidi woman held captive by the Islamic State for repeated sexual abuse says that she was raped 30 times in just a few hours. Kept prisoner, she now begs the West to bomb the brothel where she is being held. It's believed that she's being kept prisoner ... continue reading


Islamic State has infiltrated INSIDE of Turkey with attempt to kidnap Syrian leader Watch

Image of Militants have recently shot and wounded a senior Syrian rebel commander within the nation. The incident has raised questions of Ankara's commitment to defeating the terror group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Islamic State fighters batter the Syrian city of Kobani near the border with Turkey, ISIS agents are apparently now currently operating within the nation of Turkey. Militants have recently shot and wounded a senior Syrian rebel commander within the ... continue reading


Jack 'the acid' Ripper: Suspects arrested in connection with acid attacks against women in Iran Watch

Image of Though the attacks have instilled fear in some women in the city, many continue to live their lives without apologies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Iranian authorities have arrested a number of people suspected of throwing acid at women. Its' believed that the women were wearing their traditional Islamic head covering improperly. The public had grown increasingly angry over the series of attacks in the ... continue reading


Sectarian violence spreads in Yemen, where Shi'ite militia square off against al-Qaeda Watch

Image of A member of the Shi'ite military Houthi organization.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yemeni city was taken by al Qaeda fighters, and 33 people were killed by a suicide bombing and gun fighting during the group's challenge to the Yemeni government. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is just the latest bout of violence that has erupted in ... continue reading


Al Qaeda launches 'magazine war' with Islamic State in effort to attract new recruits Watch

Image of Resurgence, the new magazine for Al Qaeda.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Al Qaeda is attempting to make a comeback in the public eye following the stunning rise of the competing Islamic State. In an online publication, aimed at a global audience, the terror group is encouraging attacks at economic infrastructure. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... 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, Philippians 1:1-11
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! I give thanks to Yahweh with all my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 14:1-6
1 Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 31st, 2014 Image

St. Wolfgang
October 31: Wolfgang (d. 994) + Bishop and reformer. Born in Swabia, ... 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