Egyptian Coptic Christians have refused to retaliate or seek revenge, and have instead promoted peace and love, as they attempt to recover from attacks against them, as well as the vandalism and destruction of many of their churches and institutions in recent weeks.
"I say to the Islamists who attacked us that we are not afraid of their violence and their desire to exterminate the Copts," said Botros Fahim Awad Hanna, the archbishop of Minya told Al-Arabiya.
"If we are not hitting back, it is not because we are afraid, but because we are sensible," he said. more >>
While the Western world sees the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi as a military coup, the editor of Egypt's weekly Christian newspaper says it was a coup by the people of the country and an attempt to abort efforts towards political Islam.
Youssef Sidhom, editor of the weekly called Watani (My Homeland), told Voice of America in an interview that Egyptians were hopeful that the Islamist President Morsi would govern the nation impartially, which did not happen.
"Months and months had elapsed when they failed to do so. And there has been during the past year of the rule of President Morsi an accumulating level of bitterness and anger on (the) part of Egyptians – that the Muslim Brotherhood are only clever in taking power in their hands and ousting every other political faction," Sidhom said. more >>
An American mother and author living in Cairo, Egypt with her two sons and husband has been chronicling her family's decision to temporarily leave the turbulent country amid growing violence following the ousting of former-President Mohamed Morsi last month.
Monique El-Faizy, a journalist who has written for such publications as The New York Times and the Washington Post, moved to Cairo with her two children and husband on Aug. 14 to begin a two-year study for her book about Egypt's Coptic Christians. After witnessing the continued riots and hostility portrayed by Morsi loyalists towards Christians and security forces, El-Faizy decided to evacuate her two children to Rome, Italy temporarily until the country becomes more stable.
El-Faizy wrote in a blog for Today.com that she and her family had just moved to Cairo a little over a week ago, and were hoping to wait out the civil unrest, as they were just transitioning from a hotel to a house and were hoping to be fully settled. The mother of two writes in the blog post that although she did not see violence firsthand, continual news reports of mosque attacks and the announcement that her children's school was pushing back its school year start date due to the unrest encouraged her to temporarily leave the country. Additionally, many companies in Cairo had ordered employees and their families to evacuate the city. more >>
A new report from Human Rights Watch has revealed the extremity of the bloodshed against Egypt's Coptic Christians. Since Aug. 14, 37 churches have been either destroyed or badly damaged, and at least five others were attacked, leaving at least four people dead. In addition, scores of Christian businesses and schools have been looted, vandalized and torched.
But the egregiousness nature of these actions is only matched by the lack of response by Egyptian authorities themselves, said Joe Stork, the acting Human Rights Watch Middle East Director.
"For weeks, everyone could see these attacks coming, with Muslim Brotherhood members accusing Coptic Christians of a role in Mohammad Morsy's ouster, but the authorities did little or nothing to prevent them. Now dozens of churches are smoldering ruins, and Christians throughout the country are hiding in their homes, afraid for their very lives," said Joe Stork in a statement. more >>
As Christians in Egypt find themselves at the center of hostile attacks by Islamic protesters, a church in Minya was forced to cancel Mass on Sunday for the first time in 1,600 years.
"We did not hold prayers in the monastery on Sunday for the first time in 1,600 years," explained Priest Selwanes Lotfy of the Virgin Mary and Priest Ibram Monastery in Degla, south of Minya. The priest revealed that supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi destroyed the monastery, which includes three churches, according to Times of Israel.
He added that one of the attacker had wrote on the monastery's wall "donate [this] to the martyrs' mosque." more >>
A petition started by the American Center for Law and Justice is urging President Barack Obama to make sure foreign aid given to Egypt comes with the condition that Christians are protected from the escalating attacks they are suffering at the hands of Muslim-Brotherhood backed Islamists.
"Seventy churches shouldn't be burned down throughout Egypt. That's happening because the military is not yet willing to stand in the way," Jordan Sekulow, ACLJ executive director, said in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Tuesday.
"Words are not enough. Yes, the United States – when we speak, it's powerful, but what also makes us powerful is the amount of funding we provide to the world and I think this is one of the opportunities we have to at least give this Muslim majority population and military, which we've had a pretty good relationship with, the opportunity to do the right thing." more >>