Christians restrain anger after Egypt church attacks

Coptic Christians in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya are managing to restrain their anger despite a wave of devastating attacks on their churches and institutions by enraged Islamists, news reports said.

Tensions are still running high more than two weeks after the attacks in the city some 250 kilometres (155 miles) south of Cairo but there have been no calls for vengeance, nor any fiery rhetoric.

“I say to the Islamists who attacked us that we are not afraid of their violence and their desire to exterminate the Copts,” said Botros Fahim Awad Hanna, the archbishop of Minya.

“If we are not hitting back, it is not because we are afraid, but because we are sensible,” he said.

Enraged by a bloody crackdown mid-August on protests in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo, Islamists lashed out at Coptic Christians in Minya, accusing them of backing the military that toppled the head of state.

The Copts, who account for some 10 million out of Egypt’s population of 80 million, had already suffered persecution in recent years.

Meanwhile, Christians in Cairo told Catholic News Service the United States is taking the wrong side, with some, like 21-year-old Youssif, even accusing Washington of openly supporting terrorism.

Their concerns echo, almost to the word, Egypt’s military and its new interim government’s claims that Morsi was deposed by popular demand, that now-dismantled pro-Morsi camps in Cairo were armed, and that the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups with which Morsi was aligned are the ones behind a wave of attacks on state, security and Christian institutions around the country.

Obama has not termed the takeover a coup, though some U.S. lawmakers have. But Obama has condemned the forced dismantling of two pro-Morsi camps in Cairo Aug. 14, saying Washington supports “the right to peaceful protest.”


AFP/Yahoo News

CNS/The Catholic Register

Huffington Post

Image: AFP/Yahoo News

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