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12/4/16

Egypt: Christians Under the Gun in Egypt

The end of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt meant big changes. But just not for the country's beleaguered Christians.

Sadly, news about the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is nothing new. In parts of Iraq and Syria the situation has gotten so bad that the Obama administration declared ISIS' actions to be "genocide."

But a recent story about the persecution of Christians in the region didn't come out of the Levant, but instead, out of Egypt.

Now if this story sounds familiar, that's because, sadly, it is. For years we've been talking on BreakPoint about the plight of Egypt's native Christians, known as the Copts.

As I said back in 2013, "Egypt [is] central to the birth of Christianity." It's right there in Scripture: it was to Egypt that the Holy Family fled from Herod. And Egypt produced some of Christianity's greatest minds such as Origen and the great defender of orthodoxy, Athanasius. The father of monasticism, Anthony, was also Egyptian, and for much of the Church's early history, Alexandria was the mind and soul of the faith.

"Egypt was Christian for six centuries before the coming of Islam," and the people we call "Copts" are the descendants of those who kept the faith in the face of enormous pressure to abandon it.

Those pressures continue to this day. Even under non-Islamist governments, Copts are, at best, second-class citizens. They're harassed at every turn. For instance, repairing their churches, never mind building a new one, requires overcoming huge obstacles.

And that's under relatively "friendly" regimes. When the Muslim Brotherhood took power following the "Arab Spring," they faced what Nina Shea called "jihad" in which it was "open season" on them and their institutions.

Read more: Christians Under the Gun in Egypt

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