Coptic Church Bombed on New Years Day

 

On New Year's Day in Egypt, the year was wrung in with violence based on religious persecution. 21 are dead, 79 are injured on the 1st day of 2011. Coptics (Christians) vs. Muslims. Muslim extremist have used this holiday season to unleash their terror on Christians in Nigeria after similar recent attacks in Iran and Iraq.

 

The article goes on to note that Christians have declined in Egypt to around 5% from 20% over the last century. I remember seeing simliar trends when I was in Greece about 6 years ago and Turkey 10 years ago. I remember talking to a Greek pastor who mourned that his people who were amongst the first churches but now are only a shadow of their former glory.

 

 Coptic Priest Wife Held

 

Unfortunately neither community are above reproach. Earlier in August of 2010, Kamelia Shehata Zakher, wife a priest was locked away after she converted from Christianity (Coptic) to Islam. (Note: The president of Egypt was threatened to be sued over this as well. Very odd side-bar.)

 

I always feel torn and confounded by the violence that plagues the middle east. However I try not confuse communities (with their radicals) and their religious associations. I know I wouldn't want my actions judged by some ultra-extremists that happen to share some ideals.(Timothy McVeigh, David Koresh, etc)

 

Why don't we see this persecution as often in Europe or North America? Is extremism the cost of such conviction and passion? (Misguided of course.) Are we in North America more understanding and open, or just lukewarm? I'm hoping the former.

 

16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Rev. 3:16 NIV)

 

For now, I think all I can offer are prayers for this region. I'm sure if there was a "quick-fix" for peace in the middle-east it would have been found a long time ago...

 

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Comment by Wayne Pau on January 3, 2011 at 9:47pm

Hm.. the shock waves are even being felt here in Canada. Coptics whose X-mas is Jan 7th are hiring professional security people to watch over their churches. I can't imagine having to worry about that at my church?!?

 

Copts in Canada step up security

 

We really do live in a global village.

Comment by Wayne Pau on January 8, 2011 at 1:56am

There always seems to be some light amidst the darkness. Today is Orthodox Christmas. In Egypt there was no further violence, and in some solidarity, moderate Muslims turned out to support their fellow countrymen.

 

Egypt's show of tolerance

 

While there is a lot of repression of this religious minority group in Egypt, partly attributed to the ruling political party, at least for Christmas, there is "peace and good will to men".

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