Christophobia in Egypt

But don’t expect to hear about it from the establishment media.

“Islamophobia” and “anti-Semitism” are terms deeply ensconced within the left’s catalogue of unpardonable transgressions. 

As to who is guilty of these infirmities, that will depend almost entirely upon which side of the ideological divide the suspect lands. For example, despite the incendiary anti-Jewish rhetoric that they’ve repeatedly espoused, the likes of Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan are not only spared all criticism by their fellow ideologues; they are legitimized and sometimes even celebrated.

At the same time, someone like, say, Donald Trump, who is among the most pro-Jewish of American presidents, a man with a Jewish daughter and Jewish grandchildren and who is the first American president to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, isn’t just blasted as an anti-Semite (and an “Islamophobe”); his leftist opponents have tried implicating him in the mass shooting of a Jewish temple in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   

The point here, though, is that while the left at least pretends to be concerned about the well-being of Muslims and Jews, the self-appointed guardians of Virtue never utter a word about the victimization of…Christians.  Much less do they dare to note two other facts, namely, that Christianity is the single most persecuted religious group on the planet and that in 80% of these instances of persecution, it is Muslims who are the persecutors.

Just last month, in Egypt, at least seven Christians were murdered and 15 injured.  The Christian pilgrims were on two busses in route to a desert monastery when masked gunmen stopped their vehicles and unloaded gunfire on the passengers.  Reportedly, one of the busses managed to escape, while the smaller of the two met with a different fate.

One of the injured is said to have been a child.

Unsurprisingly, the Islamic State, which publicly declared its intention to slaughter Egypt’s Coptic Christians, took “credit” for the attack.

And according to Open Doors, ISIS claims to have murdered 13 people and wounded 18 others.

This organization whose mission it is to “serve persecuted Christians around the world,” reminds us that this latest attack against Egypt’s Coptic Christian population comes just one year after Islamic gunmen murdered a minimum of 28 Christians who were on their way to the same monastery.

In the wake of this most recent attack, “Hanaa,” an Egyptian Christian, expressed her incredulity that a mass murder of the kind that occurred last year could occur again just one year later. Through tears, Hanaa asks: “How is it possible that this happened again?”  She added: “Heaven received yet another group of martyrs.”

Emad Nasif is a deacon of a church in Minya, which is located near the monastery that was the destination of the victims.  He poses a simple question: “Why were they [the victims] not protected?” Yet no sooner than he launches his inquiry does the deacon himself answer it: “There seems to be indifference to the safety of the Christian minority.”

The Coptic Christian community in Egypt traces its roots back to the Gospel author, Mark.  But despite its 2,000 year presence in Egypt, this community has been under siege for quite some time by the Muslim majority.  According to Open Doors, an organization devoted to serving persecuted Christians, Egypt ranks 17th on its “World Watch” list of the planet’s persecutors of Christians.

Nine out of ten Egyptians are Islamic.  Open Doors informs us that Christians “have been treated as second-class citizens since the advent of Islam in the region.”  The following commentary on Christian persecution is worth quoting at length:

“Egyptian Christians suffer from persecution in various ways.  Those with Muslim backgrounds face enormous pressure from immediate and extended families to return to Islam.  Severe restrictions on building or securing places for communal worship prevent Egyptian Christians from gathering together, in addition to hostility and violence towards believers who do manage to gather.

“Egyptian Christians, particularly women, also face discrimination and abuse in their workplaces and the public square.”

More telling is that these attacks are to a significant degree being incited by Islamic clerics:

“Radical imams regularly incite hostility and violence towards Christians, resulting in the deaths and injuries of many believers in the past year alone.”

Open Doors provides some examples of the sorts of attacks to which the Christian minority in Egypt has been subjected.  In addition to the latest attack mentioned above and the mass murder of monastery-bound Christians that occurred last year, visitors to Open Doors’ website discover such ugly truths as the following:

“For five years, more than 1,600 Egyptian Christians in the village of Kom El-Loufy have been unable to reopen their church due to fierce hostility from local Muslims and a refusal from authorities to grant the necessary license.

“On Palm Sunday 2017, two suicide bomb attacks on churches killed 45 and injured 100 others in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria. The Islamic State claimed responsibility.

“In July of 2017, an Egyptian Christian soldier was beaten to death for refusing to remove tattoos of a cross and Christian saints.”   

If we had media figures who were interested in supplying the public with an informed, truthful picture of religious oppression, then “Christophobia,” or something along these lines, would be a term springing from their lips exponentially more often than that of “Islamophobia.”

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Photo by Jo Naylor

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