Open Doors USA is starting a campaign asking for $430,000 in emergency aid for suffering Egyptian Christians who in recent weeks have been heavily targeted by Islamists, who have murdered believers and burned down churches, schools and orphanages.
"The attacks intensified two weeks ago when most of the persecution of Christians (occurred) - they are being blamed by the Muslim Brotherhood for ousting President Morsi. We saw Christian killed – they have been targeted by Muslim Brotherhood fanatics, and they've been caught in the middle, as it usually happens in many cases when Christians are minorities in Middle Eastern countries," Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra said in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Friday.
The persecution watchdog group says that in the last two weeks, there have been reports of seven Christians murdered and 17 others kidnapped, while hundreds have been injured in clashes with supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi. Another 212 privately-owned Christian shops and homes and 95 church buildings have also been attacked, as well as Christian orphanages, schools and Bible book stores. more >>
H.H. Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria has said there is pressure on Christians in the Middle East that has led to the migration of large numbers of Christians from the region.
The pope added that Egypt is experiencing tough times that would be followed by a new birth. He pointed out that Copts are deeply rooted in the land of Egypt and they reject any foreign interference in the affairs of Egypt in form and substance.
"The acts of violence against Christians in Iraq, Syria and other areas may be interconnected. There is a kind of pressure on Christians in the Middle East, and a large proportion of Christians have already migrated from Iraq," Pope Tawadros said during an interview with Hadith el-Youm program. more >>
Elmar Brok, chairman of European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, has accused the Muslim Brotherhood of inciting the ongoing situation in Egypt.
In a statement Thursday, the committee condemned all forms of violence and terrorist attacks against police in Sinai as well as the destruction of churches, the targeting of Christians and attacks on government installations and museums.
"The era of former President Mohamed Morsi witnessed a proliferation of radical Islamic groups. Although Morsi was democratically elected, he had taken a number of undemocratic actions during his reign," Brok said, after a lengthy meeting with the EP's foreign affairs committee. more >>
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 >>