Egyptian Christians Try To Lay Low Amid Bloodshed

Churches Torched as Copts Are Scapegoated

By Jack Khoury (Haaretz)

Published August 19, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

As clashes between the Egyptian army and the Muslim Brotherhood lead to bloodshed, the Christian Copts in Egypt are also suffering from violence.

The 17 million Christians in Egypt, a fifth of the population, have seen some 80 churches and monasteries set on fire since the beginning of last week, especially in southern villages and in Cairo and Alexandria. Western media outlets have reported the torching of some 50 churches and widespread looting, but Al-Wafd, the mouthpiece of a centrist secular party, has reported the number of events to be even higher.

Joseph Malak, an attorney heading a research center and human rights movement, as well as being one of the leaders of the Christian Copt community, told Haaretz that the arson was orchestrated violence. “The object of the Muslim Brotherhood, as we see it, is to cause terror and fear and push the country into a violent, ethnic struggle. They expect the Copts to react, thus leading the country into a dark tunnel, with no apparent solution.”

Malak says that the Copts did not fall into this trap: “People did not go out to demonstrate, and there were no acts of revenge; on the contrary, the head of the Christian Church clarified that the Copts would not react violently, but would rather do their best to seek calm and prevent bloodshed. He added that the churches set on fire were a sacrifice on the altar of the liberty of the Egyptian people.”

Attacks on Copts’ property and churches are a reoccurring phenomenon whenever there is an heated political struggle in Egypt.

For more, go to Haaretz


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.