Egypt’s Christians Appeal for Help after Churches are Forced to Close
Egypt has been one of the worst places for Christian persecution in recent months. A series of attacks targeting Christians and forced closures of churches have caused Egypt’s Christian population to call on authorities for help.
“We have kept quiet for two weeks after the closure of one of the churches, but due to our silence the situation has worsened … it is as if prayer is a crime the Copts must be punished for,” said a statement released by the Minya diocese in southern Egypt.
Two churches were reportedly shut down by authorities in Minya and another church was closed after rumors of an attack surfaced. No attack occurred, but the church has remained closed.
Egypt’s Christians are known as Copts and have been in the region since ancient times. According to ChristianToday.com, Copts make up 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 95 million people.
Many Copts feel that the government does not take adequate steps to protect them from discrimination. Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has vowed to combat Islamic extremism in the country and declared a three-month state of emergency after two massive church bombings rocked the nation, and particularly the Christian community, last April.