27 November, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

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

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

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 01/04/2011
Anxiety and anger: Christmas celebrations for Copts in Egypt and worldwide at risk
So far, the Coptic patriarch says he will celebrate Christmas Mass, but he may yet cancel it. Security stepped up in churches throughout the country. The violence of young Copts, a sign of no confidence in the Egyptian system. Discrimination against Christians: to repair a toilet in a church, a decree from the provincial governor is needed; Muslims can build mosques freely, receiving construction materials for free. Attack on the church of Alexandria has opened "a new and more cruel style." In Sydney Christmas celebrations canceled. Security measures in France, Canada, Germany.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - "The Coptic community is preparing to celebrate Christmas with the anguish, following  the New Year’s attack, that left 21 dead and 80 injured" an Egyptian priest tells AsiaNews, adding that "for now the Coptic Patriarch Shenouda III is determined to celebrate midnight mass, but until 7 January [the date of the Coptic Christmas] he could cancel it. "

Along with an unease that has invested all Christians, including Catholics, there is a new phenomenon: "Christians, especially the younger ones, have become more violent and this is because they feel it is useless to stay calm and hope that justice will be done".

On January 2 groups of young Copts clashed with police and they even threw stones at political and religious figures who had gone to the patriarch to express their condolences. In the clashes with the police, at least 45 policemen and 27 civilians were injured. Last night a thousand protesters clashed with police again in a neighborhood north of Cairo. The toll: 12 policemen injured. Yesterday afternoon a rally of 200 intellectuals and artists in the city center was forcibly dispersed.

"Young people no longer trust in the Egyptian system, which has huge flaws. Although the Egyptian constitution states the value of citizenship, it remains a written word, it has not become a reality".

The priest goes on to list the inequities in Egyptian society: "To repair a toilet in a Christian church, you need a decree from the governor of the province, Muslims do not need any permission to build a mosque. They are even offered free building material.  The reality is that we are not treated as citizens. Added to this there is live discrimination in careers in the army and public administration and a total lack of security. We have to hire private security for our churches, but these have only a pistol and a cell phone and are not effective in stopping violence, they have little means to investigate and detect the presence of explosives. "

After the attack in Alexandria, the government is now stepping up security measures, especially in the lead up to Christmas, with hundreds of police deployed around the churches. No word yet if the patriarch will celebrate mass. So far, though he said that he will do so and we are preparing for it, but we do not know if it will go ahead in three days times. " The patriarch is also sending messages to calm the minds of young people, demanding peace and nonviolence.

The attack on the Church of Saints in Alexandria has even aroused the condemnation of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood: "In all likelihood - says the priest - the source of the terrorist act is elsewhere, al Qaeda, perhaps in Iraq. What is certain is that we are faced with a newer and crueler style than before. It is the first time there has been an attack of such a violent level in Egypt, using explosives inside a church. So far there had been clashes, but between people, individuals, perhaps with a gun, but certainly not with lethal explosives".

"Maybe, - concluded the priest –predominantly Christian nations, in Europe or elsewhere, need to bring more influence to bear on the Egyptian government, as did Pope Benedict XVI." Meanwhile, in preparation for Christmas, in France, Canada, Germany, authorities have tightened security around the buildings of the Coptic community for fear of attacks. In Sydney (Australia), the Coptic community has received threats and the faithful have decided to cancel Christmas celebrations.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/07/2010 EGYPT
Nag Hamadi: armed commando attacks Coptic Christians, seven dead and three wounded
10/30/2012 EGYPT
Cairo: three candidates in race to succeed Shenouda III
by André Azzam
04/28/2012 EGYPT
Egyptian court shelves trial against 'unknown' for Maspero massacre of Copts
10/14/2011 EGYPT
Truth and justice not lies and superficiality on massacre of Copts
by Bernardo Cervellera
03/13/2010 EGYPT
Crowd of 3 thousand Muslims attack a Coptic Christian community, 25 injured

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


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.