The leaders of Coptic Christians, whose community is facing growing persecution in Egypt, say they have been unsuccessful in efforts to gain a hearing from the White House or other parts of the Obama administration.
... They say they are frustrated by the current administration in Washington, particularly after President Obama’s overture to the Muslim world via a speech at Cairo. In the speech Mr. Obama President apologized for America’s misdeeds to Muslims, stating that he came “to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” Coptic leaders say that even while reaching out to Muslims the administration has turned a deaf ear to the pleas Arab Christian minority in the very country where he delivered his apology to Muslims. “The Obama administration’s benign neglect of Arab Christians, is putting freedoms and human rights in the whole Middle East at risk,”
... Because Christianity in Egypt is so ancient, preceding Islam by seven centuries, the country is a repository of multiple centuries-old churches, part of its international cultural heritage. As attractions for tourists, they rival the Pharos heritage. Those churches benefit somewhat as tourist sites, getting a measure of protection by the state. Elsewhere in Egypt, smaller, ordinary churches are burning. Because of the Hamayuni Law, the churches that are attacked or burned down remain gone.
Copts say they are down to 2,524 churches now, down from more than 3,000 churches in the early 1950s. The bigger problem is not only that of systematic destruction of churches but the inability to replace the losses and build more to keep up with the normal growth of the Christian population.
The squeeze has become bad enough that Copts have often have to travel far distances outside of their towns for religious services for baptism, marriage, funerals, and regular mass.
Since 1971 only 37 “presidential decrees” were issued to build new churches and a further 34 decrees for menial repairs or refurbishments, including absurd things like replacing broken windows, across all of Egypt.
Both the regimes of Presidents Al Sadat and Mubarak revived the Hamayuni Law, refusing or ignoring applications by Christians to repair, rebuild or erect churches. Egypt’s parliament, which is led by Mr. Mubarak’s National Party, has refused multiple proposals to write off the law or cancel it. Christian landowners need official permits to build a church. Muslims, by contrast, need no such permissions from the state, the presidency, or the government to build mosques anywhere in Egypt.
As a result, thousands new mosques, some starting as nothing more than storefront shops, have been established over the past 30 years. Most were funded with Saudi money. As the expansion of Islamic houses of prayer proceeds in Egypt , Christians there remain frozen in place.
THIS IS HORRIBLE. IT'S JUST WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHRISTIANS IN LEBANON.
THE USA SHOULD MAKE OUR ALLIES ADHERE TO THE UN'S UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS - AND DEMAND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FOR ALL HUMANITY.
ESPECIALLY FOR CHRISTIANS IN NORTH AFRICA: IT WAS THEIRS BEFORE MOHAMED AND HIS JIHADO-TERRORISTS STOLE IT.
IF OBAMA WAS REALLY A CHRISTIAN I THINK HE'D DO MORE TO HELP THE COPTS.