Copts Under Attack

I’m a little late with this by virtue of having been offline over the weekend, but I can’t let the evening go by without commenting on the violence against Christians that is going on in Egypt.

For some months now, ever since the uprising that toppled Mubarak, Christians have been under attack. Churches have been burned, and Christians have been beaten and murdered. That in itself isn’t surprising, but the Copts’ biggest complaint is that the authorities have failed–refused, actually–to protect them. This abdication by security forces is a chilling precursor of what could turn out to be a slaughter of historic proportions. The Copts, thankfully, are tough after centuries in the minority, and they have tried to fight back.

Most recently, they have organized protests against the authorities’ abandonment of them. The government tolerated the Christians’ protests for a while, but now security forces have struck back and openly sided with the Muslims who are persecuting the Copts. Yesterday, armored vehicles deliberately swerved into a crowd of Christian protesters, killing several. You can see that, along with other violent scenes, in this video from the Telegraph:

Altogether, at least 25 Christians have been murdered. Verum Serum has more, including sickening footage of a Christian protester being surrounded and beaten with clubs by Muslim security forces who are joined by Muslim civilians.

What caused the violence? Well, if you believe Egyptian state television, it was the Christians who were at fault for attacking armored vehicles, kind of like Polish cavalry “attacking” Nazi tanks:

In an unprecedented move, broadcasters on state television at one point called on the Egyptian public to head to Maspero en masse to defend Egyptian soldiers from angry Christian protesters, thereby further fuelling the sectarian flare-up.

Call-ins from viewers, meanwhile, supported the state’s official version of events. “Armed Christians clashed with and killed military police,” one call-in viewer claimed.

State television also aired footage of injured military police officers.

Minister of Information Osama Heikal later attributed claims made on state television to “emotional stress” on the part of the news anchors.

Maybe our government has commented on the massacre of Egyptian Christians; if so, I missed it. Other governments, however, have weighed in on events here in the U.S. Iran says that the idiotic Wall Street protests that are so beloved by Democrats represent an “American spring.” It’s nice to see Ahmadinejad and Pelosi agreeing on something! And Iran criticized the “putting down [of] popular protests in various American cities by the police.” The meaning of “putting down” varies, I guess, from place to place.

Meanwhile, I can’t begin to explain why American Christians take so little interest in what happens to Christians in other countries. One gets the sense, sometimes, that the existence of persecuted Christian minorities overseas is an annoyance to many American Christians, if they notice it at all, much as the existence of Israel is an embarrassment to some secular Jews. Life would be easier, perhaps, if they would all just go away. One way or another.

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