Thursday, July 24, 2008

Support Resolution 1303

The Free Copts has more: link

Here is the text of the legislation: link

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rally in Washington DC in Support of Coptic Christians in Egypt

 reposted below

American Egyptian Coptic Christians along with activists from Egypt, the Middle East, Europe and the USA, will organize a peaceful rally on July 16, 2008. The rally will start in front of the White House at 12:00 Noon- 2:00 P.M., and will conclude in front of the Egyptian Embassy at 2:30- 3:30 P.M. The purpose of the rally is to protest recent violent attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt.
The Copts of Egypt are the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. They number about 15% of Egypt’s population of 80 millions. Not a month passes by without their churches, homes and businesses being attacked. According to a study made by Ibn Khaldoun Research Center in Cairo, over 240 major attacks against the Copts took place during the period from 1972- 2003. It is estimated that, during the last three decades, more than 4000 Copts were killed or injured. This in addition to damages directed to Coptic properties that could exceed hundreds of millions of dollars. Hundreds of Christian Coptic girls, some are minors, are abducted and forced to embrace Islam and marry Muslim men.

During the last few weeks, Muslim extremists in Egypt attacked a jewelry store owned by Copts killing four Copts. The extremists also attacked Abu Fana Coptic monastery injuring many monks and kidnapping three. The abducted monks were tortured, humiliated and ordered to denounce their Christian faith. In Fayoum, Muslim extremists attacked homes and businesses owned by Coptic Christians. A Coptic Christian man was killed by Muslims in the town of Dafash, governorate of Minia, in the southern part of Egypt.
In addition to violent attacks by Muslim extremists, the Copts of Egypt suffer from discriminatory laws and practices imposed on them by the Egyptian government. These practices include restrictions on church building, under representation in Parliament, and discrimination in jobs and promotions. Many high ranking jobs in Egypt are out of reach for Copts.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Kidnapped monks released after southern Egypt clashes and other attacks

Link to the story.

Two quotes from the article:

Three monks abducted after bloody clashes between Muslims and Christians were set free Sunday as calm returned to the southern Egyptian village, said a security official.

The battle erupted Saturday when local Muslims claimed the expansion of a monastery was being carried out illegally on state property in the village of Deir Abu Fana, near the city of Minya, 210 kilometers south of the capital.


The latest clashes, however, come against a disturbing backdrop of attacks against Christian jewelers over the past week that prompted one Coptic member of parliament to claim Thursday that police were not adequately protecting the community.

On Wednesday, gunmen stormed a jewelry shop in Cairo and killed the Coptic owner and three of his assistants, but did not steal anything.

The Free Copts have the story of the jewelery attacks: Copts shot dead in Cairo attack
and Four Cairo Copts shot dead in gangland-style slaying

Monday, April 14, 2008

Egypt complains to Britain at treatment of Coptic pope

With Pope Benedict XVI coming to America tomorrow I would like to post this story and ask my brothers and sisters to think how Catholics would feel if our Pope was treated this way:

CAIRO, April 8 (Reuters) - Egypt has complained to the British government about the way security treated the head of the Egyptian Coptic Church in the VIP lounge at Heathrow airport in London, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

Airport security insisted on March 30 that Pope Shenouda, 84, go through normal security checks, including a metal detector and a body search, local papers said. The body search was eventually waived when the cleric objected, the papers said.

The Foreign Ministry told the British ambassador in Cairo that the Egyptian people were extremely offended at the incident and the British government should explain what it called "this unacceptable behaviour, which led to an angry reaction on the part of Egyptian public opinion", a statement said.

Britain replied that it regretted the incident but that religious leaders and other VIPs are not exempt from the standard security procedures at Heathrow, the statement added.

It quoted the British ambassador, Dominic Asquith, as saying he was awaiting a report from London on the incident and would ask for a meeting with pope Shenouda to apologise.

Pope Shenouda is the spiritual leader of most of Egypt's Coptic Christians, who number up to 10 percent of the country's 75 million people. He was in England to open a new cathedral in Stevenage in Hertfordshire, north of London. (Writing by Jonathan Wright; Editing by Catherine Evans) Source

I think this is totally unbelievable. I am glad the ambassador will apologize. That this even happened is outrageous.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Man convicted of murder in Egypt gains release from Pennsylvania prison

The story:

An Egyptian convicted of murder in absentia in his home country was released from federal custody after a judge ruled he had legitimate reasons to fear being tortured if deported.

Sameh S. Khouzam, 38, called his release after seven months "the best thing in the world. I'm blessed with all the love and support of the good people around me," the York Daily Record reported.

Despite his release Tuesday from York County Prison, Khouzam must still wear a monitoring device on his ankle. A spokesman for the Justice Department said officials had not decided whether to appeal his release.

Khouzam has argued he will be tortured for his religious beliefs as a Coptic Christian if he is deported to Egypt, which is predominantly Muslim. He also denies the allegations that he killed a woman and then fled to the United States a decade ago.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The incident (attack) at Abu Fana Monastery in El Minia

The Free Copts has the story (Link)