One Day in the Life of a Christian in Egypt

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Earlier this month I participated in Coptic Solidarity’s Second Annual Conference in Washington D.C., titled: “Will Religious and Ethnic Minorities Pay the Price of the ‘Arab Spring’?”  Panelists included Middle East specialists, prominent members of the Coptic community, and other minority leaders from the Muslim world, including Kurds, Berbers, and Sudanese animists.

Held at the U.S. Capitol, nine members of Congress made statements and showed their support, including Sue Myrick, Chris Smith, and Frank Wolf.  Walid Phares, a Congressional advisor who also participated, asserted that their appearance is encouraging and indicates that at least some members of Congress “are aware about the plight of minorities in general and of Christian communities in the Arab and Muslim world, and are particularly concerned about the Islamist and jihadi threat to these communities.”

Because the conference spanned two days, I spent lots of time surrounded by Christian minorities.  The casual anecdotes I heard, spoken not with outrage—the province of the privileged—but simply as backdrops to more mundane stories, revealed how endemic anti-Christian sentiment is to the Muslim world, so much so that Christians themselves have almost become immune to it, expecting it, reserving their actual complaints for times of physical persecution (including but not limited to Islamist-inspired theft, kidnapping, rape, church attacks, etc.).

In other words, if the formal speeches held at the Capitol documented the hostility and discrimination Christians face under Islam, the informal conversations, held over food and drink, drove the point home.

Thus one Coptic businessman complaining about how he lost a legal case in Egypt, though he was clearly in the right, was quickly interrupted by the grinning fellow across him, who asked whether his opponent was Muslim or Christian; when the businessman, rather coyly, said Muslim, everyone laughed knowingly, some even suggesting he was a fool for even going to court.

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  • Chezwick_mac

    Not the mention the disconnect between the actual persecution of Christians in the Islamic realm…and the constant drumbeat of victimization claimed by Muslims living in the West.

    America ought to open its arms to Christians fleeing persecution from Islamic lands. They would make fine citizens, offering their language skills to US counter-terrorism efforts…and their intimate understanding of Muslim culture and ethics to help us grasp the nature of Islam.

    Great reporting Raymond.

    • tanstaafl

      You are assuming that someone in the current administration can make a logical decision.

  • svendarbuckle

    I have no links to back up what I have to say, but here goes.

    I have read several times that many Arab Christians have as much hate for Jews as their muslim enemies.

  • Arius

    That is correct, except they put on that they hate Jews for reasons that are different than Muslim hatred of Jews. Arab Christians have for centuries acted out hatred of Jews to deflect Muslim hatred directed at them. They don't actually hate Jews, it is a self defense measure, but they have been doing it for so long that some Arab Christians think they actually hate Jews.

    • the truth

      No, it's because they believe Jews killed Jesus. Christians in Arab world are very religious and they have no love for Jews because the bible says jews killed Jesus. Lol losers, trying to win group of people through hatred for others. Satans!

      • the truth

        as usual my comment will be removed by….LOL!

      • sid

        A religious christian knows that Jesus died to save the believers of every race and color and got reserected because he is God.

    • Sid

      Try living there as achristian in the arab world and tell your muslim counterparts that you love jews and you wont see the light of another day. As a matter of fact muslims in the arab world claim that the arab christians are buddies with the jews of israel and incite agression against them for this reason. i hope you get that.

  • the truth

    what about minorities in America? Do they have freedom and peace in the US. THEIR HOLY BOOK WAS BURNT AND YOU WERE PROUD OF THAT. Your hateful acts to Muslims in the US is what promotes more hatred to minorities in Muslim world. Stop it and they will stop too. As simple as that.