The Coptic Orthodox Church has the largest Christian presence in the Middle East, with approximately 10 million members in Egypt, representing about 10 to 15 per cent of the population.Accurate figures for the Christian population in Egypt are difficult to obtain with claims ranging from 7 to 15 million. See CIA … Continue reading
The Coptic Orthodox Church has sometimes been referred to as the Church of the Martyrs because of the great number of people who have been persecuted over its history from the third century onwards.
The current intensification of attacks on Christians by militias in Egypt is a part of a pattern of violence going back over 30 years. During the Mubarak Government Christians were targeted by extremist militias who wanted to create unrest, bankrupt the economy, discourage tourism and embarrass the Mubarak regime.
More recently Christians have been perceived by some as responsible for the ousting of President Morsi from power by the military in 2013. Attacks have increased, for example in the Sinai during 2016/2017, causing displacement of Christians for their homes. In 2017 on Palm Sunday, a bomb in St Marks Church Alexandria and another in Mar Girgis Church, Tanta killed 49 people. In May, 2017, 28 Christians travelling on a bus to St Samuel Monastery to pray were murdered by masked gunmen. Bishop Angaelos, addressed those who commit such crimes saying “the violent and deadly crimes you perpetrate are abhorrent and detestable, but YOU are loved”.
In the face of such persecution the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt is remarkably resilient. They seek and expect protection from the Government and value the prayers of Christian sisters and brothers worldwide. For an in depth report on the constraints of freedom of religion and belief in Egypt and its impact across all faith groups see Egypt: Freedom of religion and belief, Christian Solidarity … Continue reading
|↑1||Accurate figures for the Christian population in Egypt are difficult to obtain with claims ranging from 7 to 15 million. See CIA Factbook https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/eg.html|
|↑2||For an in depth report on the constraints of freedom of religion and belief in Egypt and its impact across all faith groups see Egypt: Freedom of religion and belief, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, http://docs-eu.livesiteadmin.com/dc3e323f-351c-4172-800e-4e02848abf80/2017-02-egypt.pdf|