Republican Congressman Frank Wolf: Coptic Christians Fear for Their Future in Morsi's Egypt

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(Photo: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)Egypt's new Islamist President Mohamed Morsi speaks during a news conference at the presidential palace in Cairo July 13, 2012.

Republican congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.) who has recently returned from a Middle East visit has warned of eroding U.S. credibility in the region, especially in Egypt, because of the Obama administration's support to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Wolf also said that U.S. aid to Egypt should be "conditioned" on how the current regime of President Morsi treats its Christian minority.

According to the republican congressman, the Copts and other Christians he met during his visit believe the Obama administration supports Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood he hails from, regardless of the persecution Christians continue to suffer.

Wolf says that many churches have been desecrated, and no permits to build new churches have been granted since the January 2011 uprising.

The congressman met also with Bishop Anba Moussa, a close advisor to Coptic Pope Tawadros II, who admitted the Coptic Christians "fear for their future."

During his visit to Lebanon, Wolf met Christian refugees who have fled Syria's civil war.

For almost two years now, Wolf has been pushing legislation to establish a special envoy to promote religious freedom in the Middle East and South-Central Asia.

AP has reported that although the bill passed in the House with strong support in mid-2011, it has been rebuffed by the Senate and State Department.

The congressman warned that if the Middle East "where Christianity first took root is effectively emptied of the Christian faith, this will have grave geopolitical implications."