Violence in Egypt against Coptic Christians has continued despite the fall of former president Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, with believers still facing abductions and the government seizing their property, the Board of Inquiry in Cairo reported.
The report, according to Fides News Agency, shows that Copts, who make up close to 10 percent of the population, are continuing to face "endemic forms of violence and abuse" in many parts of Egypt, particularly in the governorates of Luxor, Sohag and Aswan.
"The worrying scenario has been reconstructed in detail on the basis of meetings with community representatives, civil society organizations and material provided which witness this phenomena of violence," Fides reported. more >>
The ABC Family television network recently announced its plans to cancel its recently-announced "Alice in Arabia" pilot after Muslim advocacy groups and the Twittersphere criticized the show's plot as racist and stereotypical towards the Saudi Arabian culture.
The family-oriented television network announced just last week that it had green-lighted the "Alice in Arabia" pilot, described as a "high-stakes drama series" that follows the life of an American girl after she is kidnapped by her Saudi Arabian grandfather and forced to live in the Middle Eastern country, "surviving life behind the veil," while attempting to find a way back home.
Muslim advocacy groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, expressed concern that the children's show was promoting stereotypes of Saudi Arabian culture. more >>
An Egyptian court has sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death for the murder of a policeman and their role in anti-government clashes, a ruling which human rights lawyers has called "over the top."
"This is way over the top and unacceptable. It turns the judiciary in Egypt from a tool for achieving justice to an instrument for taking revenge," said lawyer Mohamed Zarie, who heads the Arab Penal Reform Organization rights center in Cairo, according to The Associated Press on Monday.
"This verdict could be a precedent both in the history of Egyptian courts and perhaps, tribunals elsewhere in the world." more >>
When President Obama visits Saudi Arabia next week, he will have an opportunity to follow through on his inspiring words at the Feb. 6. National Prayer Breakfast. There, he told thousands of Christian leaders that "the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose" is central to "human dignity," and so "promoting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy."
The freedom so central to human dignity is denied by the Kingdom. The State Department has long ranked Saudi Arabia among the world's most religiously repressive governments, designating it a "Country of Particular Concern" under the International Religious Freedom Act. Yet the Obama administration, like its predecessors, has not pressed Riyadh to respect religious freedom.
Saudi Arabia is the only state in the world to ban all churches and any other non-Muslim houses of worship. While Saudi nationals are all "officially" Muslim, some two to three million foreign Christians live in the kingdom, many for decades. They have no rights to practice their faith. The Saudi government has ignored Vatican appeals for a church to serve this community, despite the fact that in 1973 Pope Paul VI approved a proposal for the Roman city council to donate city lands for a grand mosque in Rome. The mosque, opened in 1995, is among the largest in Europe. more >>
"To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace"-Hebrews 6:6
The United Nations, Western governments, media, universities, and talking heads everywhere insist that Palestinians are suffering tremendous abuses from the state of Israel. Conversely, the greatest human rights tragedy of our time-radical Muslim persecution of Christians, including in Palestinian controlled areas-is devotedly ignored.
The facts speak for themselves. Reliable estimates indicate that anywhere from 100-200 million Christians are persecuted every year; one Christian is martyred every five minutes. Approximately 85 percent of this persecution occurs in Muslim majority nations. In 1900, 20 percent of the Middle East was Christian. Today, that number is less than two percent. more >>
The former President of Lebanon, Amine Gemayel, is a Maronite Christian. He recently warned of "an exodus approaching biblical proportions." Gemayel told a gathering in Zurich of Christian Solidarity International (CSI) and other human rights activists that the current wave of church burnings, murders, and riots against Christians in the Mideast is the work of radical Islamists. The former Lebanese leaders own brother had been assassinated in Beirut by these same jihadists.
President Gemayel's warnings echo those issued two years ago by Vienna's Catholic prelate. Christopher Cardinal Schönborn in 2012 told a religious freedom roundtable in Washington that Egypt and Syria "must not become Iraq." He was referring to the ethnic cleansing that had led the post-Saddam government of Iraq to turn a blind eye to the killing or the driving out of more than half of that war-torn Arab country's pre-invasion Christian population of 1.6 million.
Cardinal Schönborn listed many famous cities-Antioch, Smyrna, Aleppo, Damascus, Hippo, Alexandria-among the scores of Dioceses that had fallen under the Sword of Mohammed in the Seventh and Eighth Centuries. These historic Christian communities were lost or suppressed by Muslim conquests. more >>