(NOW Lebanon) “We don’t feel as safe as before,” said Georges Nader, an Egyptian Copt who lives in Cairo. A year after the revolution that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, Nader said that the number of Egyptians Copts fleeing the country was on the rise.
“Half of my family is in Canada or the US, and they are trying to get us out of the country too. We are just waiting for the right opportunity,” the 25-year-old told NOW Lebanon.
Last fall, the Egyptian Coptic Church’s lawyer Naguib Gibrael estimated that some 100,000 Christian families had left the country in the preceding months, and that since Mubarak’s ouster, sectarian strife has escalated in the country.
A little over a year ago, 21 Copts died in an attack on a church in Alexandria, while last spring, another 15 were killed in Imbaba when three Coptic Orthodox churches were burned.
It wasn’t until last October, however, that violence peaked, with a new group behind the hostilities: Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). The military body, which assumed power in the wake of Mubarak’s fall, responded to a peaceful Coptic demonstration against churches being burned by setting the security services on protesters, resulting in 27 deaths. None of those responsible for the killings have been brought to justice.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Jihadi Spring update: Egypt’s Christians, post-Mubarak