Throughout history, many have been persecuted for their religious beliefs. For Coptic Christians, religious persecution is an eminent threat. With the current instability in Egypt, the well being of Coptic Christians is a great concern. Acts of violence have riddled churches and instability threatens their safety. What does the future hold for Egyptian Christians?
For Coptic Christians, 2011 began with the bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria. The suicide bombing killed 21 people and was considered to be the worst attack on Coptic Christians in over a decade. While no one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, a group associated with al-Qaida has been blamed for the attack.
Other violent acts upon the Coptic minority include the drive by shooting on Coptic Christmas Eve. In the shooting, six Coptic Christians were killed, along with a Muslim police officer. The Muslim man, Mohamed Ahmed Hussein, responsible for the killings was sentenced to death by the Egyptian court. Another atrocity was the shooting of a Christian man by a Muslim police officer. The murder was said to be premeditated. These are just a few examples of persecution of the Coptic Christians.
With the recent riots and protests against President Mubarak, some are hopeful for change and some are concerned about the alternative to Mubarak. For almost thirty years, Mubarak has ruled Egypt. Yet, during this time some claim he has done nothing to improve relations between Christians and Muslims. In addition, under Mubarak, the religion of Islam was promoted. As a result, “discrimination against Copts,” increased and Mubarak has done nothing to protect Christianity or grant religious freedom. The result is “unsafe” churches and worship. With such a oppressive regime in place, why are some worried about Mubarak being driven from power?
As indicated by Fate of Coptic Christians in post-Mubarak Egypt worries some, “conservatives are mistaken thinking anti-Mubarak forces will replace the current regime with a Western-style democracy.” Furthermore, some are concerned that the Muslim Brotherhood will replace Mubarak. Others, like Washington Institute scholar Dina Guirgis, say people need not jump to these “alarmist conclusions.” In reality, the post-Mubarak government will probably be made up of “various political forces, but all within the rules of a democratic regime.” Indeed, there differing thoughts on the Muslim Brotherhood and the future of Egypt’s government. Hopefully, the future will bring about a positive change for the Copts.
The word Coptic means Egyptian. According to gotquestions.org, the religion is “similar to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.” Furthermore, the denomination originated in Alexandria and hails St. Mark as their founder. Over time, many Coptics converted to Islam. Today, Coptic Christians comprise “between 10 and 20 percent of Egypt’s population.”
Hamza Hendaw Egypt accuses militants in church bombing Associated Press
Marwa Awad Egypt sentences Muslim to death for Coptic shooting reuters.com
Ashraf Ramelah The Decline of Egypt americanthinker.com
John Rossomando Fate of Coptic Christians in post-Mubarak Egypt worries some dailycaller.com
What is Coptic Christianity, and what do Coptic Christians believe? gotquestions.org