19 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 10/10/2011 16:04
EGYPT
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
03/14/2011 EGYPT
Military rebuilding Coptic church destroyed by Muslims
01/20/2012 EGYPT
Death penalty always unjust, even for Mubarak, Catholic Church says
11/17/2010 EGYPT
Increasing tension between Muslims and Copts. Burned houses, battle over church
03/10/2011 EGYPT
Cairo, Al-Azhar condemns violence against Christians
03/09/2011 EGYPT
Clashes between Copts and Muslims continue, six dead and 42 injured

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.