Monday, July 14, 2008
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.