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Report on the Plight of Christians in Egypt

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  • At present, the security situation is very critical in all of Egypt, given that the police have withdrawn from all major cities leaving the security issue in a chaotic situation: stealing and burning private and public properties; which forced the inhabitants to organize a self defense mechanism in order to preserve and protect their private and national properties.

  • As for the Christians they also made the same arrangement and provided volunteer protection to their churches, institutions and properties.

3) On the Social level

  • While discontent, resentment and nationalism continue to fuel demonstrations, basic necessities such as bread, food (beans, rice etc..) and fuel are in short supply. Many families are fast running out of basic food supplies and cash money as most of the banks in the country are still closed. The rector of Saint Leo The Great Seminary informed CNEWA/Pontifical Mission that the price of regular bread increased by at least 5 times on the black market and all other needs such as vegetables and basic supplies are also either unavailable or very expensive.

III. Addressing the Needs

Despite being a minority, Egypt’s Copts have exerted influence and enjoyed prosperity out of proportion to their numbers. It was perhaps because of this situation, which is often a characteristic of religious minority communities around the world, that they became increasingly marginalized, discriminated against and demoted to the status of second-class citizens. Under Gamal Abdel Nasser’s socialist and Pan-Arab regime, they were targeted ruthlessly because of their control of around half the national wealth, giving rise to a continuous wave of emigration that continues to this day.

Throughout its history the church suffered a slow decline, which later around the middle of the 20th century experienced an unprecedented revival. This spiritual renaissance began with the Coptic Orthodox Sunday School movements in Cairo, Giza and Assiout. Today, Copts continue to have active youth groups that emphasize religious education as well as providing social interaction. These gatherings are considered to be a very important religious element to all the Coptic families. Coptic children usually join at an early age and continue to participate in them throughout their adolescence.

It has been primarily through the religious institutions of the local church — which shelter, educate, spiritually enlighten and guide the poor and disadvantaged Christian population — that Egyptian Christianity has been preserved.





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