The recent barrage of attacks on Christians in Egypt, including on members and churches of the nation's Coptic denomination, are of a scale unseen in modern times and being described as satanic, according to sources living in the country. The persecution watchdog group, Open Doors USA, says Egypt is engulfed in a furnace of fire and Christians are taking on the brunt force of the attacks.
"The attack against the Christians of Egypt is nothing less than a furious satanic attack that aims at terrorizing Christians, imprisoning them at their homes helplessly with no guarantee of protection so their love, peace, hope and testimony may be neutralized," stated an anonymous Christian leader, whose name is being withheld for security reasons, in a commentary obtained by The Christian Post.
"We, Christians of Egypt, are facing a severe time of persecution and suffering that we may have not witnessed since the Roman times!" the source explained. more >>
When Ronald Reagan was running against the hapless Jimmy Carter in 1980, a reporter challenged him. What would you do differently? Gov. Reagan, ever genial, smiled and said crisply: Everything.
And he did. That's why his administration is viewed as a smashing success and Carter's malaise is remembered with a shudder-if it is remembered at all.
President Obama is in danger of following the Carter model. He had no choice about cancelling a summit with Vladimir Putin--certainly not while Putin is providing asylum for NSA mega-leaker Edward Snowden. But Mr. Obama's comments about that summit cancellation were, to put it mildly, unhelpful. more >>
The death toll in Egypt following clashes on Wednesday between Pro-Mohamed Morsi Islamic protesters and government military forces has climbed to 525, officials say, but the real number is suspected to continue to rise in the coming hours and days as the situation becomes clearer.
Officials counting the bodies that have passed through the hospitals have said that the death toll currently stands at 525: with 137 killed at Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, where government forces tried to force the main protesters' camp out, another 57 dead at clashes at Nahda Square, 29 in the Cairo suburb in Helwan, 198 in other provinces around the country, and 43 security personnel. More than 3,500 people are said to have been injured.
There are strong fears, however, that the real numbers are much higher, with some sources claiming hundreds more could be added to the death toll in the coming days; the Muslim Brotherhood has claimed that as many as 2,000 deaths took place on Wednesday alone. The Brotherhood has blamed excessive government force for the casualties, and has claimed that it has been "non-violent and peaceful." more >>
Egypt's Copts and their churches are under siege as Islamists react to the military crackdown against pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins. Several monasteries, churches, the Bible Society headquarters, a convent, and a Franciscan school have been burned, demolished or otherwise attacked in greater Cairo, Upper Egypt, Sinai and Suez, the independent MidEast Christian News is reporting in a series of detailed, horrific accounts.
Targets of the rioters are Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical religious houses of worship and other religious sites, as well as private homes and property of the Christian minority. In some cases, Egypt's security forces have protected the Christians from enflamed Islamist mobs; in many others they are failing to stop the mayhem. Several priests have also reportedly been assaulted.
The Copts are not part of the military assault against Muslim Brotherhood protesters in two of Cairo's squares, and were but one of many factions of Egyptian society that supported the military's ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. But, as Girgis Naiem explained here last month, the Copts have been scapegoated by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists since the beginning of the July 3 military intervention. more >>
The Middle East is tough on minorities. After millennia of Jewish presence throughout the Arab and Persian lands, almost every country in the region-save for Israel, of course-was emptied of Jews in the last century.
Today it's the Middle East's Christians who are streaming out. In Lebanon, Christians made up a slight majority a couple of decades ago, but today they're down to barely a third of the population. Hundreds of thousands of Christians fled sectarian fighting in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and they're a minority now in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem-the birthplace of Jesus. But the most dramatic Christian exodus is out of Egypt. Since the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, the rise of Islamists and mob attacks have driven more than 100,000 Christian Copts out of the country.
Samuel Tadros's book, Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity, is a scholarly yet riveting account of this tragedy. The author takes us on a grim tour through the modern history of Egypt, chronicling the rise and fall of its Coptic minority, the country's largest Christian community. Along the way, Mr. Tadros offers a trenchant analysis of Egypt's struggle, and that of the Copts, to overcome backwardness and obscurantism. more >>
Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram has killed at least 56 people in a new wave of attacks in Nigeria, including 44 worshipers who were slain at a mosque in Konduga – actions which some analysts have described as "baffling."
"Gunmen believed to be Boko Haram members entered the mosque and opened fire on Muslim worshipers, killing 44," an anonymous government official said, according to AFP.
"We believe the attack was not unconnected with the cooperation residents are giving to security operatives in identifying and arresting Boko Haram members in their midst." more >>