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Egypt: Christians Flee Town After Death Threats from Suspected Islamists

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Sep 28
  • Comments

Coptic Christian families have fled their homes in the town of Rafah in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, fearing for their lives after receiving death threats from suspected Islamic militants, reports. According to a local priest, Islamic militants dropped leaflets on the doorsteps of shops owned by Copts in Rafah, ordering them to leave town within 48 hours and making an implicit warning of violence if they failed to do so. Two days later, masked militants on a motorcycle opened fire on one of the shops before speeding off. No one was hurt in the shooting. When Christians met Tuesday with the province's top government official -- who was recently appointed by Egypt's new Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi -- the governor promised to facilitate the Copts' move to the nearby city of el-Arish but did not offer to protect the community to ensure that it stayed in Rafah, the priest said. It is unclear how many Copts have fled Rafah, but the priest said the number of Coptic families in town had dwindled from 14 to two since the uprising that pushed longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak from power in February 2011.