Posted by: Fr Chris | January 2, 2011

Egypt

The bombing at All Saints Church in Alexandria was timed to kill parishioners as they were leaving the midnight Liturgy to welcome the New Year. New Year’s Day is a big celebration in many places, and church services are well attended. This closed-circuit tape from the church shows the moment of the attack: the red curtains with embroidered saints on them were the entrance into the sanctuary through the wooden icon-screen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcSbNJjZBr0&feature=player_embedded#!

An interesting thing to watch re: the Egyptian bombing is the Christian response. The Coptic Orthodox number at least 10% of the population, and probably they are bigger than that but the Egyptian government does not like to do an accurate census. Some in the government say that not publishing Christian statistics is done in order to protect the Christian churches, since the Muslim Brotherhood would be furious at any signs of progress/ renewal.

Coptic men have been filmed demonstrating in the streets, and men and women alike have been marching.  It is a case of the young adults saying “Enough”. So many incidents of attacks in Upper Egypt are glossed over in the media, and the usual police response is to arrest a lot of Christians, not Muslim perpetrators.

Here you can see interviews with two parishioners who were in the church and returned to pray again. Also you will see the cloth banners which flew so violently when the bomb hit, in the center of the icon-screen. One large banner of Jesus is spattered with blood – the force of the bomb left a bloody imprint all over the area. God save us!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkYwyk2Y8xo&feature=channel

 

Copts are direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians of the Pharaohs, while Muslims have a much more mixed heritage due to Arab rulers. So, the Copts are indeed, as in Iraq, the native population. But they are also disgusted with the constant attacks, the constant humiliations, the constant pressure. Thus, the young adults fought with both police and local Muslims after the attack: the Christians are simply tired of relentless harassment and persecution.  Muslims routinely mock us as “worshipers of the Cross” but the young people who marched on Sunday chanted “With our souls and with our blood, we will redeem the Holy Cross.”  That is devotion! After a massacre, they are bold enough to march in Muslim-ruled streets and chant about the same cross which Muslims mock. Such bravery! And for us sitting safely in America? How brave will we be?

Various Egyptian leaders, both from the state and the Muslim institutions like Al-Azhar, have condemned this attack on a church and attack on People of the Book. But what do you think will happen when daily media repeats anti-Christian lies, when the Quran calls for war against those who believe that Jesus is divine (9:5, 9:30), when local Christians are regularly condemned as allies of foreign crusaders, when Muslim mosques and schools pass out literature that demonizes both Christians and Jews? Sooner or later, some devout man or woman is going to decide that the Christians must be either purged or put back into their lower-class seat, and the answer will be with violence, not more pamphlets.

The slaughter going on around the region is a direct result of years of constant propaganda. Al-Azhar can bemoan the bombing of the church building – but there won’t be progress until they bemoan the use of violence, and until they make the audacious decision that Christians are human beings of equal worth and value.

And again: moderate voices of Islam: where are you? And why aren’t you out there every day preaching against the jihadists. You stand to lose a lot in a country ruled by Shariah and mullahs – look at Iran.

Well, I am going to conclude asking that all pray fervently to our Lord, the God-Man Jesus Christ, for peace in the world and that His mercy would rule in the hearts of all.

PS Check out this blog: http://staringattheview.blogspot.com/2010/03/al-azhars-attack-on-egypts-coptic.html for some good insights.


Responses

  1. May these new saints pray for us and all Eastern Christians!


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