Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coptic Christians more worried than even over elections

The die have been cast and the winners appear to be the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists. Not good news for Copts, who have been bearing the brunt of Islamic hatred in Egypt for ages. As Egypt moves closer to a solid new government, expect to see an increase in the discrimination against Copts and more violence directed at the "people of the book"

From AINA November 29 by Elizabeth Arrott

Egypt's Coptic Christians Fear Fewer Rights After Elections

Cairo (VOA) -- With Islamist groups expected to do well in Egypt's parliamentary elections, many Coptic Christians are concerned that their limited rights will come under greater threat.

The trash of millions of people collects in Cairo's Garbage City, the narrow lanes filled with plastic, metal, wood - anything the district residents can resell to eke out a living.

The slum, on the outskirts of the capital, is home to a large Coptic Christian community. Many are trash collectors, or zabaleen. And above the squalor is a testament to their faith - the largest Christian church in the Middle East, cut into the hillside that begins the plateau east of Cairo.

For Christians, Egypt is the land revered for sheltering a young Jesus and his family. But it has long been the province of an Islamic majority, a fact that some Coptic Christians say Muslims are quick to point out.

Said, who gives only his first name, says Christians are discriminated against.

He says Coptic Christians do not have the same rights as other people in the country, and that others look down on them as if they are not human. Said says discrimination was institutionalized under the old government, with restrictions on church construction and the ability to change one's faith. The current military government has proved no better, he says, cracking down on a Coptic protest march last month, in a violent night that left 25 people dead.

Now, some Christians say, it can only get worse. The elections that started this week are expected to favor Islamist parties, including the conservative Salafis.

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