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-Egypt: Coptic Christians Concerned About Future with an Islamist Dominated Government

by Dr. D ~ January 24th, 2012

Coptic cross modified

                (Image via Wikipedia)

The dictator is gone and the ‘free’ elections in Egypt are over and have produced an Islamist majority in Parliament. Even though their were many incidences where the Coptic Christians were kept from voting, former president Jimmy Carter judged the elections to be “acceptable”

Now Coptic Christians who make up approximately 10% of the population are concerned about their future.

Life under Mubarak was not all that rosy for the Copts but at least they were protected most of the time from radical violence. Lately the authorities have stood by while churches were attacked and Christian businesses and homes were burned.

Now with a coming new government dominated by Islamists who control 70% of the Parliament (the Muslim Brotherhood controls 46% of the seats along with the more radical Salafi Nour Party who control 24%), Coptic Christians are worried that their community will no longer be protected from radical violence. Also, if Sharia law becomes a larger part of the legal system in the country, then the Copts will not receive equal justice under the law and possibly be subject to paying a tax to remain Christian in their own ancient homeland.

One Coptic author, Amin Makram Ebeid, has summarized four different Coptic responses to the situation:

1. A minority, though sizeable, is planning to emigrate.

2. The largest group is looking for spiritual, perhaps even mystical solutions.

3. A smaller party is dedicated to stay and fight for their rights, especially in securing a non-Islamist constitution, which according to the national referendum in March is the provenance of parliament.

4. Finally, there is a group that is looking to cooperate with Islamists, provided Copts do not lose their identity in the process.

Response: Meanwhile, leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood before the election promised to look after the interests of the Coptic Christians after they took over the reins of government. However, the Brotherhood and the Salafi Noor party also promised that they would establish sharia to be the law of the land so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Christians should remember to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt that it will be resolved in their favor and they will be able to remain and thrive in their ancient homeland.            *Top

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