Muslim Attacks on Christians in Egypt Spiral
Bishop Angaelos, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, has issued a warning about the spiraling of attacks on Christians in Egypt. Egypt is home to around 75% of all Christians in the Middle East.
“It is regrettable that the time has come yet again to speak of the heightened, targeted attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt. Tensions against Egypt’s indigenous Christian community have again escalated over the past few months, and will spiral even further if not immediately addressed,” Bishop Angaelos warned in his statement.
According to Christian Today, false rumors of affairs between Christians and Muslims, new churches being built and the growing trend of directly targeting priests and their families are behind the latest attacks.
The attacks included the stripping and public parading of 70-year old Souad Thabet and the torching of five Christian households after it was rumored that the houses were becoming churches. They have continued to spiral, leading to the murder of a Coptic priest, Father Moussa, as well as the murder of 33-year-old Coptic pharmacist, Maged Attia.
According to Bishop Angaelos, “There has been a spiral of attacks in the last three months. They are almost weekly now. Egypt is in a very vulnerable position. People are frustrated and vulnerable to radicalisation.”
The Christian Post reports that the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights calls the reconciliation process “an instrument that only serves to perpetrate tensions and create a climate in which any dispute between citizens is liable to escalate into sectarian violence and collective punishment.”
Bishop Macarius of Minya and Abu Qirqas said, “The true perpetrators must be arrested, punished for their crimes to set an example for others.”