United Copts of Great Britain

Press Release

For Immediate Release

14th January 2010

URL: www.unitedcopts.org 

Contact: info@unitedcopts. Tel +447976710729

One the night of 6th of January 2010, while Christians in Egypt were celebrating the Eastern Christmas Eve, seven worshippers were gunned down right in front of Church by Muslim extremists.

The Copts are the Christian minority in Egypt - making up around 12% -15% of the population.  For the past 30 years we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the persecution and discrimination suffered at the hands of an increasingly authoritarian Egyptian regime.  For a long time we have remained quiet, but recently we have been attacked and killed systemically in a policy that amounts to an attempt to ethnically cleanse the state of our presence.

Today we say enough is enough.  Copts have lived in Egypt for thousands of years, we deserve to live in peace and have our basic rights protected by the state that has a duty to all its citizens.

The world media has largely ignored the plight of the Christians in Egypt and their ongoing persecution.  Preferring, like so many others, to rely on and follow the official line of the Egyptian government and state run media.

We ask all Freedom loving people, the Human Rights organisations, the politicians in UK, the UK government, and the whole world to pay more attention to what is happening in Egypt.

Last Thursday while people in the south of Egypt (Nag Hamadey) were celebrating Christmas Eve at the Coptic Orthodox church, a group of Muslim extremists opened fire and killed seven Christians as well as an unarmed Muslim security guard.  They also injured 15 others.

As per usual, the Egyptian government announced, via state-run news agencies, that this was a random, isolated incident committed by an individual holding a grudge against Christians because a month ago a Christian man was accused by Muslims of raping a Muslim girl.  Although there is no actual evidence to suggest the alleged rape occurred, the government line was immediately swallowed and taken as fact by much of the media, without question or independent verification.

The fact is that Muslim extremists have been making false claims in order to justify their attacks on the Christian minority in southern Egypt. The government not only stands by but is complicit in spreading these false allegations and justifications, in fact there is proven relationship between the criminals who carried out the attack and the local MP member of the Egyptian National Party Abdel-Reheem El-Ghool.

The incident on Christmas Eve was not an isolated, one off occurrence.  Cases last 30 years of Muslims torching our homes and businesses and opening fire in churches were also brushed off by the state as 'madmen' with vendettas rather than serious incidents of persecution

In 2001, 21 Christians were killed by Muslim extremists in the village of Al-Kosheh southern Egypt. Once again, the government did nothing to prosecute the killers and misguided the media by saying the attack was caused by dispute between two families not a religious issue, there not a month or two without incidents of attacks on properties or lives of Christians which go unpunished.

The failure of the government to act only means these killings will keep happening. And as long as the media follow the government line without question, the murder of innocent Christians will go unnoticed by the outside world as well as unpunished.

The United Copts of Great Britain condemns the barbaric killing and the attack on the innocent Christians as they were leaving their place of worship and reminds the Egyptian government of its obligation to treat all citizens equally, to provide peace and security to all citizens, to stop the police bias against the Copts and this time to show seriousness in prosecuting the perpetrators of violence.

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