Egyptian Bishop Calls on Government to Address Coptic Issues as Questions Over Security Forces Persist

Bishop Makarios of Minya called on the Egyptian government to take "appropriate action" regarding Coptic issues rather than leaving security forces to deal with them.

"Are Copts Indians or an undesirable tribe to deal with their problems through security and restrict them?" the bishop asked.

In a telephone call with ONTV on Sunday evening, Bishop Makarios said the customary reconciliation meetings are not fundamental solutions to the problems of Copts in Egypt, but are "temporary painkillers" that Copts are forced to accept because the state does not protect them.

This is why Copts do not accept these meetings, he said, because they do not really solve the problems, as repeated attacks on Copts prove.

"The church refuses these kinds of solutions and does not support them," Bishop Makarios said. "When we were asked to send a priest to attend the customary meeting held between the Copts of Nazlet Ebeid and the Muslims of Hawarta village, we refused."

Copts are a part of the Egyptian state, and not a tribe to resort to these meetings to solve problems and that they demand the enforcement of the law against those who commit mistakes, whether Muslims or Christians.

He explained that it is the right of Copts to search for a solution for the problems they face so they are forced to accept these meetings, whose judgments are often unfair for them as the state does not enforce the law against criminals.

The church is not a guardian of Copts to prevent them from searching for solutions to their problems, said the bishop, but it does not attend or bless these meetings and the security must also not attend these meetings, but rather enforce the law.

Bishop Makarios called on the state to pay attention to the repeated attacks against Copts in Minya, where major assaults on Copts occur almost every week. He warned that ignoring this could lead to the transformation of Minya to a "new Sinai" in terms of the size of terrorism.

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