- (Reuters/David McNew)
Christian protestors in Egypt are taking to the internet to express their unity in response to an oppressive military rule, using Facebook and Twitter to publish their wills.
The internet following is a result of Martyrs in Demand, a group created after protester Mina Daniel was shot in the chest during the peaceful march on Oct. 9. Mourners granted the 20-year-old’s final wish by carrying his body through Tahrir Square during a massive funeral precession to mourn the 27 killed which took place the day after the massacre.
Now other Coptic Christians and those protesting the lack of action by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces are posting their final wills and requests on Facebook and Twitter. They are saying that should they be killed in their planned continuing protests then followers will know their wishes.
By doing this, the protestors attempt to turn the negativity of death into positive motivation, serving as fuel for further resistance against the religious persecution inflicted on them in the region.
“Do not trust the military and do not think that any good will come from the Muslim Brotherhood," one skeptical activist wrote on his Twitter will.
"Never give Tahrir Square up. It is the only guarantee that the revolution will succeed," he added.
Violence erupted in Cairo on Sunday, Oct. 9 when Christians gathered to protest against the burning of a Coptic church in Southern Aswan which took place on Sept. 30. The burning was carried out allegedly by local hard-line Muslims who claimed the church did not have the license for the construction of a dome.
Mourners are blaming the Egyptian army for the high death toll of 27 on Sunday, arguing that the Christian march was absolutely peaceful until the military started a crackdown. The ensuing clashes reportedly saw Islamic extremists join the attacks against the Christians, and even saw a military vehicle driven directly into crowds of protesters.
Some human rights activists reported military personnel firing directly into the crowd of protesters.
Many Copts see this violence as the beginning of another revolution for Egypt’s persecuted, seeing as it is the most violent class since the February revolution which resulted in the ousting of President Hasni Mubarak. This revolution garnered massive support via social media networks.
Tension is increasing between Coptic Christians and the military government, especially because the government has recently pushed back the political elections that would vote in a new regime, which many had hoped would garner an era of democracy and religious freedom in the country.
Christians also fear for their freedom in the country as many argue the state television and government have come together to create a sectarian society, pitting Christians against Muslims and sensationalizing Christians as aggressors attacking the military.
On Sunday Oct. 16, Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces issued a decree fining anyone who practices discrimination 30,000 EGP-50,000 EGP. Christians argue that although this is a small step towards religious tolerance, it in no way condones continued military rule in Egypt.
“Don't leave my rights, bring back my country from those who kidnapped it," tweeted protester Heba Khattab.
Countries, including the U.S. and Germany, have expressed their concern for the future of Egypt, which they say will surely crumble into a more sectarian society if the government continues its oppressive practices.
Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 80 million. Over recent months, Christians in the country have been anxious about their future in the country, as Islamic groups which remained underground or inactive during the rule of the now ousted president Hosni Mubarak, became more socially and politically active following the fall of the regime in a “January 25 Revolution.”