Tag Archives: christians in egypt

“The Islamists are taking revenge on us Christians,” says Egyptian Catholic Bishop Kyrillos

Aid to the Church in Need

Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic charity under the guidance of the Holy Father has today reported that the Coptic (Egyptian) Catholic Bishop of Assiut, Egypt, Bishop Kyrillos has stated, “The Islamists are taking revenge on us Christians.”  Islamists, being the Muslim Brotherhood or other dangerous radical groups like them.

The following is the full article from Aid to the Church in Need:

Bishop Kyrillos“The Islamists are taking revenge on us Christians”: With these words the Coptic-Catholic Bishop of Assiut, Kyrillos William Samaan (pictured left,) commented on the latest Islamist attacks on Christians and Christian institutions in Egypt.

The bishop made his comments while talking to international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) on Monday, August 12th. 

The Bishop was referring among other things to events in the towns of Sohag, Fayum and Beni Suef and on the Sinai Peninsula, where churches have been attacked by Islamists and Christians have been threatened. There have also been fatalities.

In the town of Sohag, there were reports that Islamic extremists had raised the black Al-Qaida flag over a church.

Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had accused Egypt’s Christians of being jointly responsible with the military and the forces of the Mubarak regime for toppling the Islamist head of state Mohamed Mursi on July 3 of this year.

“This is absurd, of course. 33 million Egyptians had demanded his resignation. We Christians (by the way, there are only 8 million Christians in Egypt) were not the only ones to demonstrate against Mursi,” Bishop Kyrillos said.

In view of the current security situation, the bishop said he was worried but that he did not wish to reproach the law enforcement forces. “The police and the other organs of the state are at present busy keeping the Islamists under control.”

The Bishop stressed, however, that the climate had changed considerably for Egypt’s Christians since the fall of Mursi. “We feel at home again in Egypt,” Kyrillos explained.

He went on to emphasize that non-Christian publicists would now speak up for the Christians by stressing that the Christians should not be expected to pay the price of democratization.

The Bishop also saw it as a positive sign that in Sohag or Assiut, for example, moderate Muslims had defended Christian churches against demonstrating Islamists.

“This is the true Egypt: Christians and Muslims are united,” Bishop Kyrillos continued.

According to him, this year’s message from Pope Francis at the end of the Islamic fast of Ramadan was received very positively.

For the first time the Pope had use the opportunity to address Muslims worldwide personally. In previous years, the letter had been published by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on the Pope’s behalf.

The Bishop criticized the deposed Muslim brothers for refusing to accept the new government’s offers of reconciliation.

“The problem is that they (Muslim Brotherhood) still want to have an Islamic state. The majority of Egyptians are happy, however, that this has not come about. They want a liberal state,” Bishop Kyrillos claimed.

The bishop is optimistic with regard to the future constitution. A 50-strong committee would soon be revising the constitution drawn up under the Islamist Mursi and adopted by referendum.

Representatives of Egyptian Christians would also be collaborating in this effort.

“All social forces will work on it. I am confident that state and religion will be separated. After all, mixing them is the source of much evil.”

Orthodox Pope Tawadros IIThe Coptic-Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II (pictured left,) the head of the largest Church in Egypt, made a plea on Monday for the avoidance of further bloodshed in the face of denominational tensions.

According to media reports, the Patriarch has suspended the weekly audiences in his Cairo cathedral for fear of attacks (by the Muslim Brotherhood.)

Previously, 16 Egyptian human rights groups had accused the Islamists of stirring up feelings against Egypt’s Christians since June 30th, the day of the mass protects against Mursi.

The human rights groups also criticized the state for not doing enough to protect Christian institutions and individuals.

Click here to read this article at Aid to the Church in Need’s website.

Catholic Bishop: U.S. Ambassador sent erroneous analysis of support for Muslim Brotherhood

Minya EgyptIn an interview published August 1, 2013, Bishop Hanna of Minya, Egypt made many comments of great importance regarding the June 30, 2013 revolution in Egypt.  Included in his comments is one about the errors of analysis by the Obama Administration’s U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson and others.

Below are some excerpts from the interview by Agenzia Fides, an information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies:

  • “Western chanceries (administrative offices in Catholic dioceses) “have overestimated the real roots of political Islam in the Egyptian people” and now “remain floored and ambiguous before the scenarios opened by the revolution of 30 June,” while the Islamists “emphasize the role of Christians in that uprising also to justify the terrorist attacks being prepared against (Christians) them.”
  • “In past days, blogs close to the Muslim Brotherhood have labeled the new structure found by the country after the overthrow of President Morsi as the “Military Republic of Tawadros”, indicating Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II and his Church as the true architects of the popular uprising which led to the end of the Islamist government.”
  • “It is obvious” Bishop Hanna explains to Fides “that the Muslim Brotherhood wants to explain their political failure by resorting to the theory of ‘Christian conspiracy’.  To emphasize the role Christians had in the collapse of the Islamist regime will also serve to justify future terrorism against (Christians) them.”
  • “There is a plan of other attacks against churches, priests and religious that might be carried out when public controls in squares and neighborhoods – stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood finish.”
  • At the same time, even the Coptic Catholic Bishop (Hanna) confirms the wide participation of Christians in the anti-Morsi uprisings: “It is certainly out of place to speak of ‘Christian revolution’.  At least 30 million Egyptians took to the streets. But among the demonstrators there were always so many Christians (only 8 million Egyptians are Christian.)
  • In the West, however, the Egyptian facts have exposed the errors of analysis of North American and European diplomats: “The U.S. Ambassador” says Bishop Hanna, “continued to send reports in which it repeated that in Egypt the only force supported by the people were the Muslim Brotherhood.  They staked everything on political Islam, without seeing that the Islamists had won the election only because the people would not vote the leaders of the old regime.  But they (Muslim Brotherhood) took us into a tunnel where everything was getting worse by the day.  And at some point, the patience of the Egyptian people is over.”

Read the full story here from Agenzia Fides.  Agenzia Fides is an information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies since 1927.

Egypt’s Catholic Bishops’ support removal of Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi

Fr. Rafik GreicheEgypt’s Catholic Bishops’ support the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi as stated through Father Rafik Greiche (pictured at left,) head of the press office of the Egyptian Catholic Bishops’ Conference.  Excerpts are taken from the article that was published in Aid to the Church in Need (ACN.)  ACN is an international charity dependent on the Holy See, providing pastoral relief to needy and oppressed churches.  Full story is here.  Read excerpts below:

Father Rafik Greiche, head of the press office of the Egyptian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, emphasised that the military’s ousting of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was not a coup d’état. “The army carried out the will of the people…  A number of western media are now presenting it as a coup d’état. But a putsch happens when officers take power and act without the endorsement of the people. But this is exactly what did not happen in Egypt yesterday. Moreover, the army wanted to prevent the bloodshed the Muslim brothers were threatening. This is why they took action.”

“The ousting of Morsi and the political new beginning is a joyous day for us Christians in Egypt and for all Egyptians. We hope that we will not be excluded from the political process that lies before us.” It is too early to speculate about the future of the Islamist Muslim brotherhood. However, their failure was apparent to all Egyptians, he stressed. “The Muslim brothers were not ready to govern. Moreover, their focus was on setting up an Islamic caliphate and not first and foremost on Egypt. The people were no longer willing to accept this.” However, Father Greiche worries that the Muslim brothers who were ousted from power may take revenge and cause unrest. The first instances of Islamist violence against Christian institutions have already taken place in this context, according to Father Greiche. “Attacks were carried out against a Catholic church near Minya yesterday and the day before that. The building was slightly damaged and particularly Christian businesses in the surrounding area were affected.”

Father Greiche further emphasised that it is now the job of Azhar University in Cairo, the most important Islamic institution in the country, to return the young people who were misled by the ideology of the Muslim brothers to the right path.

Support the courageous Catholic bishops and the other christian leaders like Pope Tawadros of the Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox Church who support the removal of the jihadist muslim group, the Muslim Brotherhood and their leader Mohamed Morsi.  These christian leaders are risking their lives.  I don’t think enough of us in America understand their sufferings of murder, rape and church burnings at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.

What does Barack Obama think of the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi?  Well, it was reported in the June 18 edition of Sadi al-Balad that Ramses Naggar, the legal counsel for the Coptic (Egyptian Orthodox) Church, said that during U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson’s June 17 meeting with Pope Tawadros, she “asked him to urge the Copts not to participate” in the demonstrations against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Why would an Obama administration official working at his direction urge the Coptic Orthodox Church’s Pope to not allow his flock to demonstrate against the people responsible for murdering his people and attacking his churches?  Maybe, because Barack Obama has Muslim Brotherhood advisors in the White House.  Possibly, as many as 7 to 15 according to some sources.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.