|4/19/2013 11:38:00 AM|
Egyptian Christians hurt
Catholic News Service photo
A Coptic Orthodox woman cries during a prayer service for her relatives who were victims of a bombing outside an Orthodox church in Alexandria, Egypt.
While much of the world’s attention is focused on the crazy, scary young man who governs nuclear-armed North Korea, our Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt are under siege.
The Arab Spring revolution in that ancient country is taking a toll on many people, particularly the minority Christian community that has lived there for centuries. Coptic Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt’s 90 million people, mostly Sunni Muslims.
More than 100,000 Christians already have fled. Tens of thousands more are now scrambling for the exits because of mounting violence against them from militant Muslims. The government cannot or will not protect the Christians.
The first post-revolution democratic elections in Egypt last year resulted in a new government controlled largely by the religiously conservative Muslim Brotherhood.
Members of this radical group were banned under the three-decade, autocratic rule of former President Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown and is in jail.
Protests over the direction the county is taking are occurring everywhere. Egypt depends on tourism and international business to add revenue for the purchase of fuel and foodstuffs. Those trends are down.
There have been 11 deadly clashes the last 24 months between militant Muslims and the Christians who are being scapegoated for the country’s economic ills.
Most abuses against Christians occurred after the revolution, when the military was in charge. But the new violence shows the Muslim Brotherhood cannot tamp down the radical, violent behavior by radical Egyptian Islamists toward the country’s Christian minority.