Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Terheyden

5/25/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Last week, hundreds of Coptic Christians in Egypt stood up to a mob of 20 thousand Muslims. They risked their lives to protect their church, their religious freedom and each other. As Copts continue to suffer and die and their churches and property are destroyed, Christians have begun to notice President Obama's silence.

It is believed this Christian Church in Pakistan was torched by Muslims as a result of the video President Obama said caused the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya

It is believed this Christian Church in Pakistan was torched by Muslims as a result of the video President Obama said caused the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya

Highlights

By Michael Terheyden

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/25/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Copt, Christian, Persecution, Muslim, Egypt, President Obama, Michael Terheyden


KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - According to Asia News, Coptic Christians are experiencing an escalation of attacks by Islamists, and they are becoming a daily occurrence. Asia News reported two attacks that occurred last week. Furthermore, as Copts continue to suffer and die and their churches and property are destroyed, Christians have begun to notice President Obama's silence.

On May17, over 20 thousand Muslims attacked the church of St. Mary in Alexandria. They set fire to the entrance of the building and shattered the windows. In response to the attack, hundreds of courageous Copts formed a human wall around the perimeter of the church, effectively using their bodies as shields against the huge mob. Some Islamists were armed with guns and knives. They shot at the Copts, causing some serious injuries.
   
The attack on the church apparently began because of a dispute between two neighbors. According to one report, Basem Ramzy Michael, a Coptic Christian, behaved inappropriately towards the sister of a Muslim man, Alloshy Hamada. Another report stated that Basem leaned over his "balcony to gaze at the flat of Alloshy's sister, who lives on the ground floor."

The Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) reported that a 36-year-old Coptic man, a father of three children, died during the attack. His name is Sedky Sherif. While witnesses said his body was covered with bruises and marks from bird shot, it is believed he may have died from a heart attack.

A 19-year-old Coptic man, Mina Milad Saber, was severely injured in the attack and required brain surgery. AINA reported that the police shackled him to his bed after his surgery for fear he might escape, although he was still in a coma. They also reported that "most Christians who were injured during the attack either went privately for treatment or quietly left the hospital, 'as it will end by them being arrested too,' said Weesa Fawzy."

Another incident occurred on May 13 in the village of Menbal, north of the Minya province. This time, a Muslim mob attacked a church named Tadros el-Mashreki. They threw stones at the church, forced their way into it, trashed it, and assaulted one person. The mob then looted Christian shops, set cars on fire, and beat up Copts caught outside. The Coptic minority was also threatened with expulsion from the village.

This incident apparently began when a group of Coptic girls, who were going to church, ignored the advances from a group of young Muslims. According to the report, the Muslims waited for the Coptic girls to come out of church. Then they threw bags filled with urine at the girls. This provoked an argument between the girls' Coptic friends and the Muslims.  

As a result of the escalating violence against the Coptic Christian community in Egypt, but prior to these two incidents, on April 18, American Copts gathered in Washington D.C. in front of the White House seeking justice for their fellow Copts. They wanted the United States government to do more to persuade the new Islamist government in Egypt to protect its Christian minority from attacks. One demonstrator shouted, "We need justice! Obama, Obama, where are you?"

Of course, the answer to this question seems to be clear. By all accounts, President Obama and his administration have positioned themselves in the same camp as President Morsi of Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood.

President Obama denounces violent attacks against the oppressed Christian minority in Egypt and throughout the Muslim world, but he chokes on the word "terrorism" when Muslim's commit acts of terror. Yet, he had no problem this past Monday telling the new leader of Myanmar, Thein Sein, that the predominately Buddhist nation needs to end its violence against its Muslim minority.

It is right that President Obama, and all of us, should be concerned about the ongoing violence in Myanmar and the tragic displacement of its Muslim minority; however, this concern should go both ways, and it apparently does not for President Obama. Take the attacks on the U. S. embassies in Egypt and Libya on September 11, 2012, which are currently under investigation, although the attack in Benghazi, Libya is the main focus.

Right from the start, the Obama administration blamed these attacks on an obscure, 14-minute video clip about the Prophet Muhammad that was made by an American Coptic Christian. Before the attacks even began, the U.S. embassy in Cairo released a statement condemning "misguided individuals [who] . . . abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others." About two weeks later, the administration flooded Pakistani television with an ad featuring President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denouncing the video in anticipation of the "Love the Prophet Day" protests.

In the ad, President Obama says, "Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others." Secretary of State Clinton says, "Let me state very clearly, the United States has absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its contents. America's commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation."

The President and key members in his administration continued to blame the embassy attacks on the video for weeks. In the process, they caused massive unrest in many Muslim countries resulting in numerous injuries, deaths and wide-scale property damage. What's more, the aftershocks of this lie about the video are still being felt.

For instance, it has undermined efforts to establish goodwill between the Copts living in Egypt and their Muslim neighbors; it has endangered the Copts and other Christians living in Muslim countries; it has damaged the relationship between the United States and some Muslim nations; and it has left the American Copt who made the video in jail on a technicality, a victim of Machiavellian politics.

Last week, hundreds of Egyptian Copts stood up to a mob of 20 thousand Muslims. They risked their lives to protect their church, their religious freedom and each other. Last month, members of the American Coptic community stood up to our government. They called on President Obama, and all they got was silence. He was not there for them.

We wonder where President Obama is, but where are we? The American Coptic community also asked for our prayers and if we would stand with them. Our Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt and Muslim countries around the world need our help. Their blood is crying out to us. Will they get silence from us too? Will we be there for them?

One thing is certain, there will be no peace in the world while arrogant leaders incessantly lie to the people, manipulate them and deny them religious freedom. For this reason, I believe it is imperative for Christians in the United States to be there for the Copts and all persecuted Christians. We need to stand up for religious freedom everywhere, even in our own country.

With these thoughts in mind, let us always pray for those being persecuted for their faith and for religious freedom in our own country. Let us also write to our leaders. If they do not listen, then let us go to Washington D. C. and form a human wall around the perimeter of religious freedom for all the world to see.
 
 
-----

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'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Middle East

'Dam will burst' if West does not come to aid of Syrian refugees, King of Jordan warns Watch

Image of At least 80,000 Syrian refugees are now stationed at the Al Zaatari refugee camp. The camp only has the capacity for 60,000 people (Reuters).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

King Abdullah of Jordan says waves of Syrian refugees into his nation have placed an overwhelming strain on his country's health care and education systems. The king says that his country is at a breaking point and that help must arrive before the "dam bursts." ... continue reading


ISIS COWARD! Suicide belt bomb maker confesses he would NEVER wear one Watch

Image of Twenty-two-year-old Jasim Mohammed Atti'ya is under arrest for his role in the attack on a government building in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq in November of last year (Fox News).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

While he makes them - he freely confesses he would never use one - to forfeit his life for the "cause" of the Islamic State. That is the confession of an incarcerated suspect believed involved in a terrorist attack. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


ENGLISH-speaking young boy featured in ISIS' latest horror beheading video Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ISIS has released another gruesome beheading video, but this time the executioner is an English-speaking young boy. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The young boy, who's identity and ethnicity has not been determined, is featured directly threating the United ... continue reading


Disabled jihadi executes 'spy' in new horrific ISIS images Watch

Image of ISIS releases images of three more murders (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ISIS has released several images depicting the crucifixion of one of three accused spies in Libya. Despite the obvious gore and lack of humanity, one executioner is shown in a wheelchair. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The images were released by propaganda group ... continue reading


Russia in cahoots with ISIS? Russian airstrikes target civilian oil facilities Watch

Image of Russia allegedly aiding Assad and ISIS by targeting civilian oil facilities (EPA).

By Thomas Heed (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Humanitarian group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RIBSS) has stepped forward with claims that Russia's airstrikes have turned to civilian oil facilities that have no links to ISIS. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daily Mail reported RIBSS' claims came ... continue reading


LOST GENERATION: Scores of Kosovo men, women leave to join fight with ISIS Watch

Image of Kosovo women usually join Islamic State to follow their radicalized husbands (Reuters).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Yong men - and many young women, seduced by the lies promised by the Islamic State, have left their native Kosovo to join the terrorist organization. Parents are left with unanswered questions. Statistically, 300 men and 36 women have left the mostly Muslim country of ... continue reading


Revolting, twisted celebration: You'll never guess how people celebrated a 23-year-old's murder Watch

Image of The nauseating celebration was captured on camera (Mohammed Yasin Photography).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two Palestinian women murdered a 23-year-old Israeli woman after attempting to break into a grocery store and setting up bombs around Beit Horon, a Jewish community in the West Bank. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Times of Israel, grocer Mordechai ... continue reading


ISIS atrocities labeled as 'genocide' by European parliament Watch

Image of A Scottish university recently protested Islamic State's genocidal policies. Photo courtesy of the Strathcyde Telegraph.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

Europe's leading human rights body passed a resolution on Wednesday calling ISIS atrocities as "genocide," a week before the European Parliament will vote on a similar resolution. Strasbourg, France (CNA/EWTN News) - "States should act on the presumption that ... continue reading


AMAZING DISCOVERY: Ancient Babylonians tracked astronomical movements with great sophistication 1,400 earlier Watch

Image of The tablet is proof that Babylonians had the same general knowledge as Europeans who employed similar devices fifteen centuries later. Photo courtesy Trustees of the British Museum/Mathieu Ossendrijver.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A tablet has proven that astronomers in the ancient society of Babylon had highly sophisticated methods for tracking the movements of the planets. The planet of Jupiter was considered a patron God of the Babylonian god of Marduk. The tablet, only a few inches ... continue reading


Crowd beats terrorist when suicide vest fails to detonate Watch

Image of The suicide vest (not shown) failed to detonate, leading to the terrorist's beating (AP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A gunman detonated his belt in a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia's al-Ahsa province during the religious group's Friday prayers. A second gunman began to shoot outside the mosque and attempted to blow himself up, but was stopped and beaten by the angry mob. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8
1 In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord seated on a high and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8
1 [Of David] I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart, for you have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:1-11
1 Now it happened that he was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:1-11
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what the message of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 7th, 2016 Image

St. Moses
February 7: Arab hermit and bishop who is called "the Apostle ... Read More