Sunday, July 13, 2008

Coptic Christians forced to convert to Islam or emigrate

As the Worldwide Anglican Communion (with a few exceptions) gathers to argue over women and homosexuals, which appears to be occupying all the column inches and all the blog pages – as though the Church of England were concerned with and is about nothing else - Cranmer would like to turn to a corner of the world where Christians are being persecuted for their beliefs. He has previously reported on the situation in Iraq and Israel, but the brothers and sisters in Egypt are experiencing a similar ‘ethnic cleansing’ to which the world turns a blind eye.

The Copts of Egypt are among the world's oldest churches. Their founders date back to the days of the Egyptian Therapeutae (‘Ideal Christians’ according to Iraneaus), brethren to Jesus and the original Jerusalem Church. Christian Coptic Egypt was conquered and oppressed by the Muslims in the late 7th century, and it has been a downward spiral for the Egyptian Christians ever since.

The Copts are now on the verge of extinction due to Muslim animosity and persecution. Indeed, Egyptian writer Ahmad Al-Aswani says it is ‘open season’ on Egypt's Copts:

"What Is Happening to Our Coptic Brothers is is no longer a matter of sporadic incidents. I hope that I have not exaggerated in using the words 'open season' for what is happening in Egypt to our Coptic brothers, but it is the closest description to what is happening. It is no longer a matter of sporadic incidents, but an uninterrupted series of events.

"Today, you read of the incident in Zeitoun, and tomorrow of the one in Alexandria, and after that of the one in Deir Abu-Fana in Minya, and thus of the diverse incidents, ranging from killing without reason to armed robbery, kidnapping of monks, torching of houses and cars, and waylaying and kidnapping of girls.

"As usual, all then repudiate and condemn, accompanied by official and media denial of any sectarian or terrorist motive. And if that isn't appropriate, the standard excuse is trotted out: the criminal was mentally disturbed and did not mean to do what he did.

"This is what has happened in individual incidents...such as the Zeitoun incident a few days ago, or the Alexandria incident two years ago. If we observe closely, we find that these criminals then disappear, and are not brought to trial in any court, and no one hears about them afterward.

"In mass incidents, such as marches after Friday prayers – which follow a Friday sermon inciting (worshipers) to burn the homes of the villages Copts, on the pretext that these 'infidels' seek to turn one such home into a church that will pollute the pure village – the (allegations that sparked the incident) are later proven untrue. (This proof, however, comes) after houses, shops, and cars have been burned, (and) after police and government officials arrive to make sure that the burning is complete.

"Then the media, as usual, accuses rumormongers of being behind the regrettable events, saying that they must be agents of Israel or America.

"Of course, the usual Coptic notables deny any suspicion of sectarianism, and affirm national unity, and the sheikh and the priest embrace. The matter is concluded with no investigation and no trial for anyone - as if nothing had happened. (All then) wait for the opening of the next season, and for the recurrence of the same events, the same responses, and a promise that parliament's new unified law for houses of worship will solve all problems - in the knowledge that this law does not yet exist.

"(Thus) continues the cycle of sad events in Egypt, without end - and one saddening thing is that some prominent Copts voluntarily deny any suspicion that sectarianism is fuelling recent
events (even) before the truth becomes known. I do not know whether they are aware that their words both increase the suffering and will fail to end this series (of incidents).

"Instead, why don't they use their media presence to defend their people, the Copts, and to urge the enactment of laws to prohibit what is happening, and to purge the educational system and media of the explosive mines of sedition, discrimination, and incitement?

“What is happening is an attempt to terrorize Egypt's Copts, and to force them either to emigrate from the homeland once and for all, or to convert to Islam to protect themselves and their families from harm and to protect their property from the confiscation mentioned by many Islamic publications. It causes me regret, and as an Egyptian it makes my heart bleed, to see this farce endlessly repeated, and to see the same prominent individuals say the same words - and then to see the matter forgotten a short time later.

"Frankly, I blame the Coptic leadership in Egypt, headed by His Eminence Pope Shenouda III himself, because it has reached the point where lives and property are taken with impunity, and clearly with the authorities' collusion - with no fear of effective response, and with the confidence of all that, as always, the matter will end with beard-kissing and forgetting.

"Although I fully believe that the majority of Egypt's Muslims side with their Coptic brothers and against these incidents, I must point out that in light of the incitement, and in light of the seditious clerics on the religious television channels, things have changed, with the suspect collusion of the government.

"Perhaps the most recent farce is the June 5 report in the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram...accusing Copts residing abroad of being behind the Zeitoun incident, and of forming an armed Coptic organization to instigate civil strife in Egypt.

"Can you imagine such far-out nonsense? I implore you: For God's sake, oh Egypt!"

So while the Lambeth Conference is consumed with misogyny and homosexuality, let us remember that it is little more than media side-show, a trivial entertainment marketed by the media and salivated over by certain Romish vultures circling above and waiting to pick over the already-emaciated carcase.


Blogger Sir Walter Scott said...

Misogyny? Surely His Grace does not believe those who hold to 1 Tim 2:11-14, as well as the apostolic succession in which he sits, to be nothing but misogynists?

Surely that's the easy way out! Nay, rather concern yourself with the rebellion and vanity of the women who wish to seize the episcopate and priesthood and church itself. That is the far more daring focus...

13 July 2008 at 10:48  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

We should note that Egypt is the second highest recipient of U.S. international aid, after Israel.

Ostensibly, the USA is a Christian country (although those who pay attention know that in reality it no longer is --- at the top, it is little more than a Zionist and Criminal entity). Therefore, it beggars belief that any Washington administration could allow the Coptic Church to be victimized and terrorised in one of Christianity's co-birthplaces (the other being Armenia -- incidentally, another people who have been viciously victimized).

If the United Nations cannot mobilize itself to at least condemn such religious persecutions, even when they have persisted for more than two decades --- NB: this story of Coptic suffering in Egypt isn't new --- then we must mobilize to end the farce that is the U.N., and close that diversionary tool of Globalization down.

Speaking personally, I wonder how much more compelling evidence and inter-connecting dots visitors to His Grace's esteemed Blog will require before they start to wake from their docility and irresponsibility, in order to see at least the outlines of the "big picture" unfolding before their eyes.

13 July 2008 at 11:59  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

It all sounds so familiar:

"diverse incidents, ranging from killing without reason to armed robbery, kidnapping of monks, torching of houses and cars, and waylaying and kidnapping of girls."

"As usual, all then repudiate and condemn, accompanied by official and media denial of any sectarian or terrorist motive [i.e. Islam]. And if that isn't appropriate, the standard excuse is trotted out: the criminal was mentally disturbed ["extremism/fascism"] and did not mean to do what he did."

"these criminals then disappear, and are not brought to trial in any court, and no one hears about them afterward."

So very familiar.

This is exactly the kind of behaviour for which we painted red crosses onto white flags and invaded the Islamic world.

13 July 2008 at 12:28  
Anonymous John Fisher said...

I was wondering how you could shoe-horn some barbs about Rome into this piece - but you managed it somehow ...

13 July 2008 at 16:50  
Blogger Cranmer said...


It is not so much deliberately hurtful as a statement of fact. Some of the Roman Catholic commentary upon the Anglican Communion is appalling - either triumphalist or condemnatory.

His Grace shall return to the matter tomorrow.

13 July 2008 at 17:41  
Blogger Dr.D said...

I find the Copt's response to be rather disingenuous and false. I know that I can be accused of making such statements from the comfort of my easy chair while they are on the firing line, but it does seem to me that when we are on the firing line, we have to stand up and be witnesses to the truth. Are the Copts doing this? I do not see that they are. They seem to be colluding in their own extinction which I think is disappointing to say the least.

Is this what the Gospels mean when they tell us to make peace with our adversary on the way to the court to avoid a confrontation? I don't think so. At some point, it becomes necessary to say that somebody is lying and it is not the Copts (Christians). (This statement has application beyond the situation of the Copts!) We cannot avoid confrontation forever and expect to protect others, even if we are willing to accept death for ourselves.

13 July 2008 at 19:33  
OpenID yokel said...

@ Dr D: When this situation becomes more prevalent in the UK, do you imagine that the indigenous British Christians will be more forthright in their condemnation of the terror than their Coptic brethren? I don't. We're Christian wimps for all the reasons that His Grace lays out in his article. The same connivance between government, media, police and radical Islamists is already occurring here, the only difference is the degree of the violence. At present they just beat up Christian clergy in the grounds of their Church, or throw rocks through the windows of Christian pensioners. Without a revolution led by a practicing evangelical Christian, it can only get worse.

13 July 2008 at 20:13  
Blogger Dr.D said...

Yokel may be entirely correct in his analysis of the situation. I hope not, but that may be true.

If so, I would like to suggest very strongly that everyone think very seriously about the implications of what is happening to the Copts as an object lesson for Britain, a preview of the future. Is this what you want? If not, the time to act, to do something different is NOW, not later.

13 July 2008 at 21:42  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

the copts hold more of the origional christian faith than any group i know off, it is shame that we do not appreciet them more in our country . i hear things have not been good for palastinian and iraqi christians who also share a long christian linage .

in egypt the population is very young somthing like 40% are under 25 , such young minds are influnenced without much equiry of the truth.

yet again we see the dialogue of radical muslim in all its glory , these small groups un egypt that want their jihad are as much ignorant as they are radical.
the muslim faith has no leader , no cleric who will intervene for the sake of peace and allah .

they complain we do not understand their faith , what more is their to understand than its inability to speak out when such clear arrgravation of an ancient church goes on.

until they sort out the theology of their own faith in meaninful way , how can we trust and respect them ??

13 July 2008 at 21:49  
Anonymous najistani said...

Your Grace, I have nothing against Anglican bishops (though I wouldn't like my son to marry one), nor against Roman Catholic ones. However I do wish that the protagonists would cease their squabbles about their sexual preferences (adult men versus altar boys?) and concentrate on confronting the activities of The Great Deceiver.

Whatever happened to 'Muscular Christianity'? The old-fashioned term 'Christendom' should be brought back into general use and infused with the same intensity of loyalty and inviolability as 'Umma' and 'Dar al-Islam' are for the enemy. Maybe, in modern parlance, Christendom needs a 'brand image'.

The jihadists have an irredentist agenda for al-Andalus and 'the Zionist entity', so why shouldn't Christendom also seek to reclaim its own? All jizya payments should be stopped to any regime that persecutes kafirs or forbids or obstructs conversion of Mohammedans to any other religion.

13 July 2008 at 22:14  
Anonymous Sir Henry Morgan said...

What najistani says. But with rather more ... er ... vigour.

And I'm an atheist. You'll need people like me. There will be things to do that a practising Christian might prefer not to do.

13 July 2008 at 22:35  
Blogger GPSGIS said...

What a load of pure nonsense !!! When will Copts (Egyptian Christians) stop their lies and rumor mongering ? None of what was stated above is true in the remotest sense. The only truth is that Copts feel Egypt is theirs despite their population being 10% or less of the total population and have been resorting to lies and rumors. The scene posted above was a riot which took place in Alexandria when a Church, IN Egypt held its own theatrical show showing our prophet to be a terrorist.
Of the top 10 richest men in Egypt - the first SEVEN are Copts.
It is time Copts stopped lying before their lies tick Muslims off enough for the to react in a VERY violent way !!
We, Muslims have had ENOUGH of Copts Lying.

14 July 2008 at 04:11  
Anonymous najistani said...

Christians may have problems, but Buddhists have nothing to fear from Islam:

"Dalai Lama Defends Islam

BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania — The Dalai Lama said that "it's totally wrong, unfair" to call Islam a violent religion.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, appearing Sunday at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, offered a defense of Islam in response to a question about the rise of violent religious fundamentalism. He added that he has made a point of reaching out to Muslims since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.",2933,381522,00.html

14 July 2008 at 10:05  
Anonymous Barack Bush said...


Coptic Church is not the oldest "Church" but the oldest heresy. It was, along with its founder Dioscoros of Alexandria condemned, first at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD, then at the Sixth Synod.

Copts have persecuted many Christians in Egypt. Remember, how Dioscoros ordered the murders of two Orthodox fathers, Saint Anatolios and Saint Proterius. May their memory be eternal.

In this 21st century, it is the Copts (and not the Muslims) who are the most violent persecutors of Egypt's Orthodox Christians. Their leader Shenouda III is a Monophysite fundamentalist and he has made attacks on the divinely inspiried Council of Chalcedon.

17 April 2009 at 19:59  

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