24 October 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  •    - Bahrain
  •    - Iran
  •    - Iraq
  •    - Israel
  •    - Jordan
  •    - Kuwait
  •    - Lebanon
  •    - Oman
  •    - Palestine
  •    - Qatar
  •    - Saudi Arabia
  •    - Syria
  •    - Turkey
  •    - United Arab Emirates
  •    - Yemen
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 10/10/2011, 00.00


    Anti-Copt violence, consequence of 30 years of bad policies, said Catholic priest

    The military is incapable of dealing with the situation. Egyptian Catholic Church spokesman appeals to Western government to prevent the country’s implosion and a drift towards fundamentalism.
    Cairo (AsiaNews) – “Clashes between Coptic demonstrators and soldiers yesterday are the consequence of 30 years of policies based on repression and security. without laws favourable to society and education, tensions will continue to rise,” said Fr Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church. In an interview with AsiaNews, he called on Western nations to prevent Egypt from imploding.

    For the clergyman, Egypt’s military is doing nothing to find a solution to the conflict pitting Copts against Muslims, which is largely a function of vague laws on religious buildings. “In small villages, there are many fundamentalists, and the rivalry with Christians is very strong,” Fr Greiche said. “De facto, there is no law regulating the construction of places of worship, and whatever little that does exist complicates matters. Everyone wants to apply them as they wish.”

    Today, the ruling military Supreme Council is holding an emergency meeting to shed light on what led to yesterday’s violence, which left 36 people dead and 220 wounded.

    In urging the population to remain calm, Prime Minister Essam Sharaf warned that Egypt was in “danger”. In his view, a conspiracy is trying to bring chaos to the country.

    However, the “military are still acting like policemen,” Fr Greiche said. Sharaf’s words say nothing about how to solve the problem. “Like under Mubarak, rulers care only about keeping people quiet. Egyptians however are afraid about the future and fear that no one may be able to resolve the situation,” he added.

    Unless people receive an education centred on coexistence and the common good, the Arab spring will prove useless. “In the past,” the priest explained, “no one cared about training young people in how to put into practice social policies. They all thought about their own careers. Few changes came from abroad.”

    In addition to the social tensions between Christians and Muslims that have long plagued Egyptian society, now there is fear that the country might drift towards fundamentalism if the Muslim Brotherhood wins in November’s elections.

    “Copts’ demonstration will not stop,” Fr Greiche noted. “They want to show everyone that they are an important minority and that they cannot be kept out of the new Egypt’s political life.”

    Lastly, the priest has a plea for the international community, which is doing nothing tangible to help Arab countries, except to confirm existing economic agreements signed with the old regimes.

    “Europe and Western nations are afraid of intervening,” he said. “They respect the will of the existing government, but that is stupid. The world has become a small village. Instability in the Middle East and anti-Christian hatred can easily spread to Europe. No country is immune from this danger.” (S.C.)
    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    14/03/2011 EGYPT
    Military rebuilding Coptic church destroyed by Muslims
    The building will rise in the same place and be as big as the old one, this despite opposition from Muslim radicals.

    20/01/2012 EGYPT
    Death penalty always unjust, even for Mubarak, Catholic Church says
    Fr Rafik Greiche speaks about the death penalty request for Mubarak. According to the prosecution, he is responsible for the death of 850 people, gunned down during protests in January 2011. For days, hundreds of people have been demonstrating in Cairo, calling for the former strongman to be hanged.

    17/11/2010 EGYPT
    Increasing tension between Muslims and Copts. Burned houses, battle over church
    Muslims set fire to ten houses and a shop in southern Egypt. In Talby, near the Pyramids, hundreds of Coptic Christians patrol the land for a church whose construction was opposed by fundamentalists.

    07/10/2015 EGYPT
    Egypt is changing: burqa ban, Qur’anic exegesis, equal rights for Muslims and Christians
    For Fr Greiche, spokesman for the Catholic Church, the government has taken significant steps that are starting to spread to the population. They include a ban on the burqa in universities, and exegetical attempts to reread Islam’s holy book. Building will soon begin on the ‘Martyrs Church’ dedicated to the Copts beheaded by the Islamic State group in Libya.

    10/03/2011 EGYPT
    Cairo, Al-Azhar condemns violence against Christians
    The death toll rises to 13 from clashes between Copts and Muslims in recent days in Cairo, after the burning of a church. The violence has mainly involved the landfill district of Mansheya.

    Editor's choices

    On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"

    John Mok Chit Wai

    A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.

    The "enemies" of Pope Francis

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®