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» 04/12/2011
EGYPT
The rise of Islamic parties urges Christians to flee from Egypt
After the fall of Mubarak over 70 people a week seek information to leave the country, but among the many young people there are those who still believe in the Jasmine revolution and prefer to stay. Holy See's concern over exodus of Christians, today it expressed its closeness to the people of North Africa and the Middle East forced to migrate because of violence. The chief spokesman of the Egyptian Catholic Church emphasizes the danger of extremist Islamic movements and parties that are pushing for the implementation of Sharia law across the country.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - The rise of Islamic parties in the Egyptian Revolution, and the continued enforcement of the Sharia in the villages outside Cairo are frightening Christians, who are attempting to emigrate to countries with greater religious freedom. According to the Egyptian Federation for Human Rights, more than 70 people a week are asking for information on how to leave the country. The instability of the countries of North Africa and Middle East concerns the Holy See. Today , the third meeting of the Special Council for the Middle East, the secretary general of the synod of bishops stressed that "the precarious situation due to socio-political movements concern the churches who share the joys and concerns of citizens, forced in many cases to migrate because of violence, lack of employment, restriction of religious freedom, the reduced space of democracy”.

Fr. Rafic Greich, chief press officer of the Catholic Church and spokesman for the seven Egyptian Catholic denominations, told AsiaNews that the current situation in Egypt is deadlocked and is very critical especially for the Christian communities.

"In this country - he says - many extremist groups have emerged like the Muslim Brotherhood, but more radical groups such as the 'Islamic Jihad Movement and the Salafis are also gaining ground." He stresses the danger of these groups despite the small number of followers, who can make their voices heard. Organized according to military logic, the main purpose of Salafists and jihadists is the spread of Sharia law across the country and use Islam as an ideology. "Often - Fr. Greich emphasizes - the followers of these movements apply sharia law on their own and today the police reported the attempted stoning of a woman. "

"Many Christians - he says - are leaving because they do not know what will happen in the future and prefer to emigrate." According to Father Greich the presence of the military government is not reassuring, although they have maintained the role of guarantors of security and public order since the beginning of the Jasmine Revolution. "Although the army says it does not want to endorse anyone, we all know that the Egyptian military has a tendency to promote Islam." "In the 1952 revolution, many of the soldiers who took part in the coup were close to the Muslim Brotherhood and many officers still use religion to control subordinates."

However, according to the priest, there are many young people who look at the situation from a positive point of view and after the fall of Mubarak many Christians, Catholics and Orthodox, have joined the democratic parties and this trend is especially dividing the Coptic Orthodox Church. "The Coptic Orthodox - he explains - are very weak at this time. Shenouda III, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church is very old and sick, but he is very autocratic, and any decision regarding the community must have his permission. He strongly condemned young people who participated in the Jasmine Revolution, giving credit to President Mubarak to the last. " Fr. Greich points out that this has created a deep rift within the community that led young people to no longer pay attention to elderly priests. (S.C.)


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See also
10/14/2011 EGYPT
Truth and justice not lies and superficiality on massacre of Copts
by Bernardo Cervellera
10/21/2013 EGYPT
Coptic Church attacked in Cairo, 8-year-old girl among the dead
04/14/2011 EGYPT
Soul, first Mass in the Coptic church burned down by Islamic extremists
06/07/2011 EGYPT
Egypt, after 60 years Muslim Brotherhood party admitted to elections
11/09/2011 EGYPT
Common law for Copts and Muslims on construction of religious buildings

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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