Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Wages War on Christians
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Aug 19
As violence envelops Egypt, Christians are paying a heavy price, with scores of their most sacred buildings and monuments being systematically destroyed by members of the Muslim Brotherhood in what one Coptic leader called an attempt at ethnic cleansing, Fox News reports. The group has zeroed in on Christians since the Muslim Brotherhood-backed administration of Mohamed Morsi was ousted on July 3. The military removed him from power after he imposed several sweeping constitutional changes that appeared to put the nation of 90 million on a path toward Islamist rule. "The Muslim Brotherhood continues its attacks on churches to implement their scheme, which includes ethnic cleansing and the forced displacement of Copts," said Abul Ezz el-Hariri, a Christian and former presidential candidate from Alexandria. "Egyptian churches are part of a blueprint by the MB to lure other Islamist groups." At least 50 Christian churches and schools have been looted and set ablaze since fierce fighting broke out last week. In one recent case, Islamists torched a Franciscan school and then paraded three nuns on the streets like "prisoners of war" before a Muslim woman offered them refuge. The campaign of intimidation also has targeted the homes and businesses of Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the nation's population. Under fire, Christians are solidly backing the military's harsh crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. "The Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt ... confirms its strong stance with the Egyptian law enforcement, the armed forces, and all of the institutions of the Egyptian people in its confrontation of the violent armed organizations," said the nation's Christian leader, Pope Tawadros II. Monasteries, dioceses, churches, schools and other property of Copts have been targeted since government security forces broke up Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Raba al-Adaweya and Nahda squares on Wednesday.