The world's most ancient Christian communities are being destroyed ”” and no one cares

Like many Coptic Christians in Egypt, Ayman Nabil Labib had a tattoo of the cross on his wrist. And like 17-year-old men everywhere, he could be assertive about his identity. But in 2011, after Egypt’s revolution, that kind of assertiveness could mean trouble.

Ayman’s Arabic-language teacher told him to cover his tattoo in class. Instead of complying, the young man defiantly pulled out the cross that hung around his neck, making it visible. His teacher flew into a rage and began choking him, goading the young man’s Muslim classmates by saying, “What are you going to do with him?”

Ayman’s classmates then beat him to death. False statements were given to police, and two boys were taken into custody only after Ayman’s terror-stricken family spoke out.

Ayman’s suffering is not an isolated case in Egypt or the region.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Inter-Faith Relations, Middle East, Religion & Culture, Violence

5 comments on “The world's most ancient Christian communities are being destroyed ”” and no one cares

  1. Terry Tee says:

    My Ph.D is in history, about the response of the British churches to the Nazi persecution of the Jews. One thing that came up again and again in the (secular) debate of the pre-1939 period was that the sovereignty of the state (in this case, the German Reich) made it very difficult to intervene. It was partly to overcome this hurdle that Raphael Lemkin, a Polish jurist, worked so hard after the war to get the international community to accept that genocide was a crime under international law.

    Now fast forward to the current era. There is terrible persecution of Christians in Egypt, in Syria, in Iraq. There is more low-key but persistent harassment in Turkey. What can we do? Where is the leverage that we can bring against sovereign states? The U. S. could of course cut its huge financial aid to Egypt – but that might destabilise a struggling army-led government that opposes the Islamists. Invade? We tried that in Iraq and it made things far worse for the large Christian minority who have since then been identified with the ‘Crusaders’ and half of them forced to flee abroad. Sanctions? It has kinda worked with Iran, and ought to be considered seriously. But here the international community, especially the European Union, is strangely deaf and blind when it comes to the suffering of Christians. The churches in Europe and North America have in recent years worked hard to draw media attention to the plight of Middle East Christians, with some success. But somehow there still seems no clear course of action open to us which can bring effective pressure to bear on the situation. Or am I wrong? I would welcome suggestions. Incidentally, despite the terrible death toll, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East does not count as genocide, since they are not a distinct ethnic group – but it sure is a crime against humanity.

  2. Nikolaus says:

    Islam is a blight on mankind.

  3. Jill Woodliff says:

    Terry, good question. I have two thoughts:
    1. Massive prayer efforts were involved in the [url=]fall of the Berlin wall[/url] and reported to be involved in the [url=]overthrow of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government[/url].
    2. IMO, the US should wean itself off foreign oil and shun foreign conflicts that don’t involve a defense of democracy. The Syrian civil war is Muslim against Muslim. If the US and Russia had not sent weapons to Syria, fewer lives would have been lost.

  4. Jill Woodliff says:

    I should clarify that Muslims link the West with Christianity, and backlash against native Christians is common after Western involvement.

  5. Katherine says:

    Copts in Egypt actually are viewed as a minority ethnic group. There may be some truth to that idea, since they are the remnants of the ancient Egyptian people who have not intermarried with the various Muslim groups (Arab and Mamluk) who came to Egypt following the conquest.