Christians safer under Egypt's new government, but threats remain
October 21, 2014
Egyptian Christians feel considerably more secure since the fall of a government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, the spokesman for the country’s bishops reports. But serious tensions remain and the future is cloudy.
In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Father Rafik Greiche reported that the situation for Christians has “improved considerably,” with acts of anti-Christian violence reduced markedly since last year. The new government has promised to allow the construction of new churches without daunting bureaucratic obstacles. However, in the parliament that will be elected late this year, Islamic parties are likely to hold enough power to block significant reforms.
Questioned about the rising power of the Islamic State, Father Greiche said: “We also feel under threat, if obviously not in the same way as the Christians in Iraq and Syria.” He explained that some Muslim militants have moved into Egypt from Libya, and others have set up bases on the Sinai Peninsula.
Father Greiche observed that Egypt’s Islamic leaders were slow to speak out in condemnation of the human-rights violations committed by the Islamic State. Eventually the most respected Islamic institution in the country, Al Azhar University, did condemn the violence. However, the Egyptic priest observed, “the curriculum of the university and that of the schools managed by Al Azhar feature many aspects that are pretty much in line with ISIS transgressions.”
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