‘Egypt’s challenge’

Two years on from the revolution in Egypt, the country’s media is still wrestling with its newfound ‘freedom of speech’. BBC World Service reporter Shaimaa Khalil says the country is “polarised between the Islamists and the liberals, with little common ground”.

Egyptian church burned

Officially, no cause has been determined for the Sunday fire that caused extensive destruction to the Coptic Church of the Virgin Mary in Tema, Egypt. Unofficially, suspicion has fallen upon Muslims who, according to Mideast Christian News, distributed a leaflet in December with this warning: “To the Crusaders of Tema and sons of . . . Read More

The politics of violence

Ahmed Zaki Osman has a piece posted at the Egypt Independent in which he views the violence against Egypt’s Copts during the past century through the prism of politics involving Egypt’s rulers and the coutnry’s Islamic blocs, with Christians as pawns. Osman’s timeline stretches back to the early days of the republic, following the sunset of . . . Read More

Words nice; action better

Via BBC “We need action not only words,” Pope Tawadros II, leader of Egypt’s Coptic Christians, told the private ONTV channel this week. The words came from President Mohammed Morsi, who telephoned Tawadros after Sunday’s attack on St. Mark’s Cathedral, where two people were killed by a mob. Morsi denounced . . . Read More

Africa rises on World Watch List of worst persecutors

Africa rises on World Watch List of worst persecutors
Africa, where Christianity spread fastest during the past century, now is the region where oppression of Christians is spreading fastest, a new report says. The two-year-old Arab Spring has toppled autocrats across Northern Africa, but it also has energized militant Islamist movements that have killed hundreds of Christians and endanger . . . Read More

Book review: ‘Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack’

Book review: ‘Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack’
Jesus warned his followers that they would experience persecution, a prediction that was already coming true before the books of the New Testament were completed. Today, Rupert Shortt, author of Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack, argues, “the greatest curbs on religious freedoms take place in Muslim majority countries.” Take Egypt, . . . Read More

From Africa to Asia, offended Muslims vent anger on Christian churches

From Africa to Asia, offended Muslims vent anger on Christian churches
Across much of the Muslim world, more than two weeks of backlash to the internet video “Innocence of the Muslims” has occasionally been directed at Christians, from computer hacks to church burnings. It can be difficult to sort deliberate acts of persecution from simple undirected anger sparked by the video, . . . Read More

Christians hail dissolution of Egyptian parliament

Christians hail dissolution of Egyptian parliament
Christians in Egypt welcomed today’s court decision to dissolve the Islamist-controlled parliament due to election irregularities. The decision offered hope for Christians, many of whom were convinced the country was about to be handed over to Islamists who would stifle religious freedom and persecute non-Muslims. “Christians are happy, because they . . . Read More

Gutted church building leaves Egyptian Copts with debt

Gutted church building leaves Egyptian Copts with debt
A hasty, inadequate renovation of a church building that Salafi Muslims largely gutted a year ago has left the congregation with staggering debt from additional repairs, church members said. Waiting inside the main hall of the Virgin Mary Church in Imbaba, Cairo on Sunday (June 10), a woman looked at . . . Read More