Left Menu
Life News
Are we using our memory for the glory of God? by Timothy Raymond
Can we in good conscience vote for Labor? by Andrew Lansdown and Dwight A. Randall
National MP slams perversity of Safe Schools program
Adult children of gay parents testify against same-sex marriage by Kirsten Andersen
Domestic Violence: Women can be as abusive as men by Dr Augusto Zimmerman
With the Lord: Wilma Drew
18th Annual Walk and Rally for Life
Former senator speaks up for the unborn by Joe Bullock
Qurans deadly role in inspiring Belgian slaughter by Nabeel Qureshi
Germany:Christian refugees persecuted by Muslims by Soeren Kern
Web Design and Development - abcplus Publishing Australia
Pamphlets
by Andrew Lansdown
One for All
A Son to the war
Becoming a Christian
Train home
Sons Laid Down Their Lives
An Accurate Diagnosis
Starting again
Following hard after God
Starving our children
The first duty of fatherhood
The origin of fatherhood
An Easter Song
A Christmas carol
For This Purpose
In royal David's city
God's Placard
Believing the Bible: the issue of inerrancy
Marriage according to scripture
A biblical perspective on prostitution
Prostitution and social justice
Abortion: A biblical perspective
If people were dogs & other false arguments for euthanasia
How porn harms us
How Green is God?
Evolution?
Christians and Politics
When Christians Take Their Lives
The High Kings Watchmen

Christian persecution in Egypt

 

Christian persecution in Egypt

by Dwight A. Randall

This is an edited version of a talk given by Dwight Randall at the St Mary and Archangel Michael Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church in Victoria Park, Western Australia, in April 2011.

It is apparent from even a casual look at the Coptic Church in Egypt, that its history has been marked by persecution from its origin to the present time.

A suicide bomber, mingling among 1,000 believers at the Saints Coptic church in east Alexandria, killed 21 people just after midnight on New Year’s Day as worshippers were leaving the service. The attack was among the deadliest on Egyptian Christians in recent times. It represented yet another violent assault against Egypt’s vulnerable minority Christian community. The explosion, which was obviously intended to cause maximum Christian casualties, appears to be the work of extreme Islamists—possibly linked to Al Qaeda.

Former President Mubarak promised to bring the perpetrators to justice, but Coptic Christians justly complain that few people are brought to justice for religious attacks upon them. In its 2010 annual report, the US Commission on Inter-national Religious Freedom condemned the lack of determination to prosecute those responsible. The report stated, “The absence of accountability breeds lawless-ness, which encourages individuals to attack, and even kill, others who dissent from or fail to embrace their own religious views, including members of minority religious communities.” With little determination to find and prosecute offenders, religiously motivated attacks against Coptic Christians are on the rise in Egypt. Some now describe it as being more like a purge.

Another attack took place in early March, after President Mubarak had stepped down. It happened in the town of Soul, where Christian homes and the Virgin Mary and St. George Church came under attack by a large mob of Muslims. Copts told the Christian Broadcasting Network news that the Muslim mob that attacked the Christians did so at the urging of Mullah Ahmed Abu El-Dabah. CBN reported that “during noon prayers at his mosque on Friday, March 4, the imam allegedly incited Muslims to rid the town of all Christians.” In response to this alleged provocation, a mob of several thousand Muslims attacked, burned and looted Christian homes and the church. The Assyrian International News Agency reported that the mob chanted “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is Great) as it destroyed the church. Sources told CBN News that police did not respond to calls for help, that fire-fighters were reportedly turned away, and an Egyptian Army unit nearby was slow to respond. Thankfully, no Coptic Christians were killed in that incident, but that in itself is a wonder. It appears God miraculously protected his people.

Since the public uprising against the Mubarak government in Egypt in February, the level of attacks against Coptic Christians has been escalating.The Egyptian army, initially praised for its passive response to massive public protests for democracy, is now facilitating the Islamisation of Egypt by overturning court-imposed sentences, releasing over 1,700 imprisoned terrorists and Salafist clerics*, and permitting the Muslim Brotherhood, which was formerly banned in Egypt, to form two political parties.Indeed, it is clear that the army itself is imposing further restrictions, and permitting and instigating further acts of violence, upon Coptic Christians. The Religious Liberty Monitor recently reported, “Enacting repressive Sharia prohibitions against Christians building or repairing churches, the army surrounded the 5thcentury Monastery of St Bishoy** and the Monastery of St Makarios, firing live ammunition and rocked-propelled grenades at monks and workers, wounding several. Tanks and bulldozers demolished walls built to protect the churches from jihadists attacks. The monks stood their ground, praying and singing, ‘Kyrie eleison’ (Lord have mercy), while the soldiers chanted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is greater) and ‘Victory, victory’.”

It is particularly alarming to read about a recent poll (Associated Press, 26thApril 2011) that reported that “62 percent of Egyptians believe laws in their country should strictly follow the teachings of the Quran.” This will further cement the dhimmi status of Coptic Christians in their own land (see Mark Durie’s article in this issue of Life News).

Our hearts go out to our Coptic brothers and sisters. Australian Christians enjoy great freedom, including freedom to worship. We have never experienced what it is like to be a persecuted minority. We do not know what it is like to be hated, to have our churches burned down, our people murdered, our leaders slain. But Coptic Christians certainly do. We take comfort from Christ’s words, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake”.We read these words in a theoretical sense. We know they are true, but for the most part we have not experienced the reality of what Jesus is saying here.

Our Coptic brothers and sisters know the truth of Jesus’ words at a deeper level than we do, for they have experienced the blessedness that arises from “persecution for righteousness’ sake”, and they know the reality of Jesus’ following encouragement when he adds, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” They know firsthand the truth of Jesus’ words, when he comforts believers by saying, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

At such a troubling time as this, we appeal to God on behalf of our Egyptian brethren. We pray that, in spite of what is presently taking place in Egypt, democracy with freedom of worship will be established, and the persecution of Coptic Christians will brought to a halt. But, if that does not take place in the near future, we pray that God will protect his people, that he will strengthen their faith, that he will help them as they continue to endure persecution for Christ’s sake, and that he will comfort them in the midst of it.

*Salafists hold to a strict interpretation of the Koran and believe in creating an Islamic state governed by Sharia law as it was practised by the Prophet Muhammad and enforced by his companions in the 7th Century. Many Salafists support Al-Qaeda.
**The demolition at St Bishoy’s was filmed and can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edVRFUOSJAw

 

Web Design and Development - abcplus Publishing Australia
Web Design and Development - abcplus Publishing Australia
LIFE NEWS ARCHIVES
2015 Vol 3 Jul - Sep
2015 Vol 2 Apr - Jun
2015 Vol 1 Jan - Mar
2014 Vol 5 Nov - Dec
2014 Vol 4 Sep - Oct
2014 Vol 3 Jun - Aug
2014 Vol 2 Apr - May
2014 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2013 Vol 5 Dec - Jan
2013 Vol 4 Sep - Nov
2013 Vol 3 Jun - Aug
2013 Vol 2 Apr - May
2013 Vol 1 Jan - Mar
2012 Vol 5 Oct - Dec
2012 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2012 Vol 3 May - Jul
2012 Vol 2 Mar - Apr
2012 Vol 1 Jan - Feb
2011 Vol 3 Jun - Aug
2011 Vol 2 Apr - May
2011 Vol 1 Jan - Mar
2010 Vol 5 Nov - Dec
2010 Vol 4 Sep - Oct
2010 Vol 3 Jun - Aug
2010 Vol 2 Sep - Oct
2010 Vol 2 Apr - May
2010 Vol 1 Jan - Mar
2009 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2009 Vol 3 Jun - Jul
2009 Vol 2 Apr - May
2009 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2008 Vol 5 Oct - Dec
2008 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2008 Vol 3 Jun - July
2008 Vol 2 Apr - May
2008 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2007 Vol 5 Nov - Jan
2007 Vol 4 Aug - Oct
2007 Vol 3 Jun - Jul
2007 Vol 2 Apr - May
2007 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2006 Vol 5 Oct - Nov
2006 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2006 Vol 3 Jun - Jul
2006 Vol 2 Apr - May
2006 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2005 Vol 6 Dec - Jan
2005 Vol 5 Oct - Nov
2005 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2005 Vol 3 Jun - Jul
2005 Vol 2 Apr - May
2005 Vol 1 Feb - Mar