Tag Archives: Islamists

Coptic Christian American: Our government naive toward Muslim Brotherhood, revolution in Egypt

Church burningIn an effort to help American Catholics understand what is going on in Egypt, the ‘National Association of American Lay Catholics’ (Lay Catholics) conducted an interview with a member of the Coptic Orthodox Church in America on August 20, 2013.

Previous to this interview, Coptic Catholic and Coptic Orthodox churches and institutions were burned by supporters of Egyptian President Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood while he was in office but, mostly after he was removed from office during the June 30, 2013 revolution.  The Egyptian military removed Morsi by popular support of the Christian and Muslim people alike.

Please read the Q&A interview between ‘Lay Catholics’ and the member of the Coptic Orthodox Church in America (the member is referred to as Coptic Orthodox Christian) below:

Lay Catholics

What is the most important thing you want people in the United States to know about the current situation in Egypt?”

Coptic Orthodox Christian:

It is two-fold.  Extreme brutality by the Muslim Brotherhood regime exercised on the Coptic minority both, while in power and after being ousted.  And the deafening silence and neglect of the free world (Europe and North America) to the plight of the Coptic Christians.”

Lay Catholics:

How many Coptic Christians have been killed in Egypt?”

Coptic Orthodox Christian

Since 1990, 5,000 Coptic Christians have been killed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates.”

Lay Catholics:

The Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assuit, Egypt said the West (Europe and North America) failed to acknowledge the scale of unprovoked attacks on Christians by ousted President Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood supporters.  What would you like to say in this regard?”

Coptic Orthodox Christian:

The naïve perception in the West that the Muslim Brotherhood is a law abiding political group is gravely misplaced.  And as such, the revolt against the Muslim Brotherhood government and President Morsi expressed the sentiment of the majority of Egyptians.  Every call from the West to treat this revolt as a coup and every attempt meant to reconcile with the Muslim Brotherhood was used by the Muslim Brotherhood to escalate their brutality against the Coptic Christians, the peak of church burnings occurred after the visits and announcements of John McCain to Egypt.”

“The idea that the Muslim Brothers are peaceful law-abiding citizens and politicians is reminiscent of the calls in Europe to give Adolph Hitler yet few more chances to exercise his governance just because he was once freely elected.”

In a testament to the resolve of the persecuted Coptic Christians, the Coptic Orthodox Christian added:

The Orthodox Bishop of Minya (Egypt) said that he never saw the churches so packed as he saw them after they were burned.”

-end-

How can you help the Coptic Orthodox Christians?  CLICK HERE for information on the relief effort and CLICK HERE to go directly to donate to the relief effort.

coptic oppression relief fund

See important information and statements from the Coptic Orthodox Church regarding this persecution by the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates below:

CLICK HERE for the List of churches and Coptic establishments, that have been burned, destroyed or compromised (as published by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt.)

Statement from the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt

Official Statement from all the Coptic Orthodox Bishops in North America

“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.