Following the historic people’s revolution in Egypt which started on the 25th January 2011 and ended with the fall of Mubarak on the 11th February 2011, a wave of sectarian violence has spread through out the land Egypt, from the south of the country to the heart of Cairo. Below is a list of the major attacks:
1. A Christian Gold business man in Assiut who was attacked and slaughtered Hemaia Samy Georgy in February 2011.
2. The murder of Fr Daoud Botros in Assiut who was found dead on the 23rd February 2011, with 22 stab wounds to his body.
3. 22nd February 2011 – The attack on the monastery of St Bishoy in Wadi Elnatroun, Egypt – where the army lead the attack and fired on the monks and workers accusing them of building an illegal fence; injuring tens of people. Noting that this fence was built on the Monastery grounds and as protection for themselves following the retreat of the police forces from the area after the revolution.
4. 5th March 2011 – The destruction and burning of St Mina & St George church in Sool village, Helwan Province, which is about 30 kilometres from Cairo. The terrorisation of the Christian locals who are about 7,000 of the 40,000 residents of the village, which lead to the escape of many of them from their homes. The local Muslim community have insisted to overtake the land and converted into a Mosque.
5. 9th March 2011 – the attacks on the peaceful Christian demonstrators in Mokatam district by groups of thugs who were as sadly reported were supported by the Egyptian Armed Forces who also intentionally banned ambulance vehicles from reaching the injured; to this date it is reported that 10 people have died and over 84 seriously injured.
To the praise of the Christians in the area led by their local priest Fr Samaan Ibrahim; they took it upon themselves to treat the injured Muslim men who fell under their hands, cared for them and send them out.
Misleading and disgusting accusations were insinuated by the state Newspaper (Al-Ahram) that the Christians planned to attack a local Mosque, or that it was the Christians who attacked a local bus driver, who later went and called for support.
It seems that the Egyptian Armed Forces are experiencing some kind of division within themselves; various reports and video footage have indicated strongly that they took part in the attacks against the unarmed Christians.
Again, the issue of Human Rights in Egypt has escalated, the Christians have little backing by those in authority; again swift action against the perpetrators has not happened.
We saw in early February 2011; the judicial system release two of the three men who were in the car on the 7th January 2010 (Orthodox Christmas Eve) in Nagaa Hammadi who killed innocent Christians leaving the church.
We call on the authorities in Egypt to recognise that the Copts in Egypt are not Dhimmis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhimmi) the people of the dhimma or people of the contract”) is a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia law. But that they are citizens, with equal rights.
All Coptic churches in the World are raising prayers for peace in the land of Egypt. We extend our gratitude to the various Muslim leaders and Media Reporters who have adopted our cause and have encouraged equality for the Copts.
Fr Gabriel Yassa
Coptic Orthodox Church
Mbl: 0411 555195