Egyptian Christians Try To Lay Low Amid Bloodshed

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

Tagged as:

Your Comments

The 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 Forward requires 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 and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. 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 Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Egyptian Christians Try To Lay Low Amid Bloodshed

Thank you!

This article has been sent!