Unprecedented Persecution of Egypt’s Christians
Christians are denied jobs and generally discriminated against in Egypt.
A report published by Open Doors, a Christian persecution charity, said Egyptian citizens belonging to the Christian religion suffered more persecution in 2017.[/tweetit] The report said extremists following a violent thread of Islam are responsible for aggression and violence against Christians. These extremists come from Iraq and Syria, where military intervention has pushed these criminals out.
Unprecedented Persecution of Egypt’s Christians[/tweetthis]
As per Open Doors, Egypt has witnessed 128 Christians being killed for practicing their faith. About 200 were forced to leave their places of residence in 2017. The upswing in persecution was explained by the organization as an effect of Islamic terrorists coming from Syria and Iraq.
There had been numerous attacks on churches. Christian girls are being kidnapped and forced to marry Muslims. These constant persecution events have moved Egypt up in an annual league table of persecuted Christians compiled by Open Doors. This is of particular concern as the North African country is home to the biggest Christian community in the region. As per official statistics, about 10 percent of the country's 95 million population identify themselves as Christians. The actual count, many believe, is officially much higher.
Among the Egyptian Christians, the lion's share of the faithful belongs to the Orthodox church. It is estimated that evangelical Christians make up one million adherents and Catholics make up 250,000. Tight security was provided to Orthodox Christians celebrating Christmas as an attack killed 11 Christians during December. Armed soldiers patrolled the streets adjoining churches all over the country.
According to Michael Jones, a pseudonym for an Egyptian Christian who wishes to protect his privacy, 2017 was a tough year for Egyptian Christians. Jones, an evangelical church leader by profession, and working in the country's capital city of Cairo, buttressed his claims by citing the increase in violence against people practicing the Christian faith. Two church bombings killed 49 people. Besides these, 29 more Christians died when they were traveling to an Upper Egypt located monastery. He claimed that Christians are regularly denied plum posts in politics. Teachers isolate Christian pupils or ignore them in schools. These are mostly seen in villages where the local Imam has the decisive authority and villagers tend to obey him.
The Christian community's response to such a hard environment was of forgiveness, endurance, and prayer. When questioned, they say that they do not want to be a participant in the more or less constant cycle of violence.