“Coptic” is not the name of an alloy

On July 30th of this year, as I watched the events unfold in Egypt, I tweeted the following: “christians and other minorities, brace yourselves, time to collect the bill in egypt and the payment might be in blood.” This was in reference to an article I had read about how radical Islamists were beginning to show the true face of the so-called “Egyptian revolution.”

Now I am not a prophet, I even work for a non-profit :), but today, as I read the news, I was made aware of the brutal accuracy of that two-month old statement. The 10% Coptic Christian minority is under renewed attacks in Egypt. They are being physically harassed and killed by mobs (and now by the police) and it seems that the “revolutionary” government of Egypt is not doing much to protect them. If you don’t believe this, take a look at the following story by the Telegraph.

In this most recent clash, according to a today’s LA Times, 3 policemen and 19 protesters were killed. The people protesting are Coptic Christians, unhappy with the recent burning of a church building that was recent renovated. The potential for more conflicts is there as elections near in this “new” Egypt, but the question remains: will this new government fail where Mubarak, with all his flaws, succeeded?

In other words, in spite of the tyrannical nature of Mubarak’s regime, he was by and large successful at curbing the excesses of radical Islamic groups. Now I will grant you, his methods were not exactly commendable, but some are beginning to ask if that is not what it takes to combat the kind of lunacy masquerading as religion that you see with some factions of Islam. Could it be that this new government will not do much because it houses the forces that are behind the opposition to the very presence of Christians in Egypt?

As Jesus said a long time ago, “A house divided against itself cannot survive.” This may explain the attitude of the new government toward the minority Christian population.

I will not be silent about this and I hope you won’t be either. If you are, don’t come crying when it is you, and not some Coptic person living far away that they are coming after. And I would speak for any other minority religions that are under attack by governments around the world, such as the Sufi Muslims in Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, the Falun gong in China, etc.

Finally, I am absolutely surprised that the Christians in Egypt are actually taking the initiative to protest. For too many years they were forced to be silent. So to the extent that this may already be the result of some changes in the new government, I would certainly say this is a positive, though dangerous step for the children. May God protect them as they move forward with the task of letting the world know of their plight.

Ivanildo C. Trindade