Tag Archives: Coptic Christian

Christians At Risk In Egypt

Discussions concerning the Middle East invariably focus on the Jewish-Muslim conflict, and ignore the Christian – Muslim lack of respect for one another. Ironically, the history of Arab nationalism is replete with the names of important Christian leaders, but today Christians have been reduced to bystanders. Few realize that 10% of the Egyptian population is composed of Coptic Christians who predate the arrival of Muslims by hundreds of years. Today, they exist as a minority which is subject to violence at the hands of Muslims. Last Christmas Eve five Christians were killed in drive by shootings. Hossam Baghat, Director of the Egyptian Initiative for Rights notes the ever increasing number of cases of violence against Coptics in his country. Baghat believes the police fail to act on complaints, and, most probably attempt to persuade victims to remain silent.

The Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003 proclaiming the benefits of democracy. As a result of installing fundamentalist Muslims to leadership roles, half the original Iraq Christian population has left the nation. Ironically, they are the oldest Iraqis.

Muslim Converts To Christianity In Egypt-A First?

In theory, Egypt allows freedom of religion to Christians but there are limits as to what the nation’s Coptic religion is allowed to do. Any Muslim is allowed to try converting a Christian to his religion, but freedom to convert ordinarily halts at the door of the church. Egypt’s Coptic Church has for the first time issued a certificate of conversion to a person who was born into the Muslim religion and decided to become a Christian. Maher al-Gohari is seeking to change his religion on official documents to indicate he is now a Christian. This is the first time the Coptic Church has issued such a certificate. It is only the second time a Muslim has officially requested having his statement of religion changed on identify cards.

Last year a court rejected such a request by a Christian convert from Islam. Tension between Coptic Christians and Muslim continues in Egypt. Ironically, Muslims argue that Jews took the land of Israel from Muslims, but Coptic Christians predate Muslims in Egypt by hundreds of years.