In 2010, a series of powerful protests spread like wildfire throughout the Middle East, in a movement that soon became known as the Arab Spring Revolution. Tragically, while the Revolution symbolized freedom and new opportunities for some, it also ushered in a new era of strife and religious persecution for others.
CFI has spent the past two years highlighting the growing injustice and discrimination against Christians in many Arab Spring nations — particularly Egypt, where followers of Christ are now routinely subject to intimidation, fear, harassment, and violence. In the following interview, CFI’s Egyptian contact describes what life is now like for thousands of Coptic Christians, and what the future may hold for the persecuted church in Egypt.
*Contact’s name is not given for his protection.
CFI: Where do you reside?
CFI: How has the Arab Spring revolution affected the persecution of Christians in Egypt?
Contact: Persecution against Egyptian Christians has always existed, particularly in the past several decades. But now, in the aftermath of the Revolution, Christian persecution has escalated dramatically. Churches and Christians are being attacked, and as radical Islam gets an even stronger hold on Egyptian society, persecution is going to increase.
CFI: How would you describe the increase in violence against the church since the Arab Spring revolution?
Contact: During the past two years, there has been a significant increase in violent attacks against Egyptian Christians. The attacks often go unpunished, and authorities seem to make no attempts to prevent similar violence.
Since the Arab Spring revolution, overt attacks against Coptic Christians’ homes and businesses have increased, and many have been burned. Churches are also being burned. In October 2011, more than 200 people were injured and 24 killed in an attack on a peaceful protest by Copts asking for equal rights. The military opened fire on the protesters, and gangs of Muslim thugs randomly attacked Christians in the streets.
Many Christian girls are being abducted and forced to convert to Islam. Also, many Christian children are being abducted, and their families are told to pay a big ransom.
CFI: How do you believe that anti-Christian attitudes in Egyptian society have affected the civil and religious rights of the church?
Contact: There are no rights for Christians, nor religious rights of the church, here.
CFI: Are Christians concerned about the results of the recent presidential election and the victory by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsey?
Contact: My family and I broke down after the announcement of the name of the new president. It was not expected.
There is a situation of panic and fear among all Christians here, because the results of the recent presidential election and the victory by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsy moved Egypt much closer to radical Islam and Sharia law.
Morsey declared the following to a very enthusiastic crowd of supporter back in May:
“The Koran is our constitution,the Prophet is our leader, Jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal.”
CFI: What kind of further restrictions should be expected on the church now that the Muslim Brotherhood has gained political control?
Contact: I expect that there will be a restrictions on building new churches and discrimination barring Copts from top state positions under the Muslim Brotherhood control. The Christians will face more problems here.
CFI: Are Christians hopeful or pessimistic about the future in Egypt?
Contact: Christians are pessimistic about the future in Egypt.
The future is going to be darker and darker. There will be a war of attrition against us, and Egypt go towards a total Islamic state.
CFI: How can American Christians pray for the persecuted church in Egypt?
Contact: Pray for the safety of the church in Egypt, and for persecuted Egyptian Christians whose lives remain in grave danger in Egypt.
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