Coptic Christians: the more they attack and kill, the Christian faith becomes stronger

Expert on the causes of conflict in Middle East says pope’s Egyptian visit proved the Church is with them.

(Rome Reports/Stand Together) 

One month after Pope Francis’ visit to Cairo, Coptic Christians are holding on to hope they received from him, despite recent terrorist attacks against them.

This expert on the cause of conflict in the Middle East says the nine million Coptic Christians in Egypt are thankful for some of the advances the pope was able to make through dialogue. These include the Common Document Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros II signed to recognize the baptism in each others’ churches and the resurgence of communication between Al-Azhar and the Vatican.

Expert, Cause of Middle East conflict

 “The Coptic Orthodox Church is passing a moment of suffering and they are looking at this visit of Pope Francis, as a great sense to say to the world, we are not few. We have the Universal Church with us.”

With 10 percent of the Egyptian population Coptic Christians, which simply means Egyptian Christians, they have always been looked at differently. However, Professor Farag says recently attacks against them have increased due to the ideology of certain groups of Muslims in the country, like the Muslim Brotherhood. Many have been affected by political manipulation since childhood and have looked at the Quran, not for the peace and love seen in the older part written in Mecca, but for the political aspect seen in the second part.

Expert, Cause of Middle East conflict

“In the last 45-50 years, there is not one single year without something happening. It could be personal behavior, group behavior, but this is mainly of ideology, especially those ideologies focusing on the difficult part, or the second part in the Quran, which is the version written in Madina, when the prophet Mohammed changed from a spiritual leader to a political leader.”

This violent political mindset, then, plays into the economy, which has been especially weak for the last seven years. This is why the pope’s meeting with President Al-Sisi was especially important to all Egyptians, but especially the Christians who are attacked by these ideologies.

Expert, Cause of Middle East conflict

“What is important is the more they attack, the more they kill, the Christian faith becomes stronger. The pardon is marvelous from those victims and their families. The Christians in Egypt, where thanks be to God, now their faith is so strong since childhood. During the last attack, there were many children, and to have to listen to their testimony and forgiving those who did the attacks against them.”

The professor says that as the corrupt political and minority Muslim ideology groups instill hatred into each member from a young age, the Christians are trying to do the opposite and are planting seeds of faith and forgiveness into the children for the hope of a better future.

#StandTogether is a digital platform, inclusive and ecumenical, created to give voice to Christians who are discriminated or persecuted, especially in the Middle East. It also intends to underline the vital importance of religious freedom.

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