Suzy Hanna is member of The Australian Coptic Movement Association working with the media and public relations. With a Bachelor in Law/Arts, Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, Bachelor in Arts (Honours), Bachelor in Secondary Teaching and Certificate in Theology, Suzy’s education and personal interest in sociological affairs of Copts and Egypt has seen her on the front lines of advocating for Copts and Human Rights. Suzy has fronted an array of media outlets including SBS, Sky News, and local and independent media.
I am always fascinated by the Western discourse on the place of Christianity in the contemporary Western world. One constant attack against Christianity is that it has silenced the voice of minority groups. Christianity- the face of imperialism, patriarchy- synonymous with Western culture- has only serviced the claims of the middle-aged Christian white man.
Because of Christianity, the voices of minority groups cannot be heard.
Recently, as I watch mainstream Australian and American media, there is an emerging voice from different minorities- young Muslims, homosexuals, transgender, atheists- a wonderful step forward, I am told- in hearing the voices of those other than the Christian middle-aged man.
But you know what? I am not only still silent to this discourse; I am non-existent.
Because I am a Christian Middle Eastern/African woman in my mid 30’s- apparently, something that makes me a modern day unicorn.
So now I begin this discourse.
The average Christian is not the middle-aged Christian white man as we are told. Statistically, the average Christian is a woman in her early 30’s living in Africa or Latin America. (I was so close!)
What absolutely infuriates me is that the Western discourse on Christianity which complains against the ignoring of the non-Western world by Christianity- does the very thing it attacks Christianity for: ignores the non-Western world!
This discourse assumes an historically homogenous experience of Christianity, ignoring the experiences of non-Western Christianity.
The irony of the cries of those who want to take down the “white privilege” synonymous with Christianity, is that they themselves are deaf to the cries of the Christians in the world that have never felt this imaginary privilege that Christianity magically carries.
When I hear about the “free ride” that the Christian Church has had “in the world” so far because of their white privilege, I internally scream.
Explain this privilege to the Coptic Church, the Assyrian Church, the Armenian Church, just to name a few.
Please let me watch you explain this privilege to a Christian 70 year old grandmother who was stripped naked and paraded through the streets during a regular flare up of sectarian clashes in Egypt.
Stop pretending that the experience of the Christian Church has been homogenous. Or stop pretending that you want to hear the voice of minority groups. You may want to hear the voice of minority groups that you choose to hear, but your inclusive utopia still does not acknowledge that I exist.
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The Australian Coptic Movement Association