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
, 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.