Category Archives: copts

the regime clamps down: a time for the generals and the activists

الجبان إبن الجبانه.. كَل غدانا قام لقانا شعب طيب كَل عشانا
احمد فؤاد نجم

May 2018:

On the global front, the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been at the forefront of the news. The murder of 90 Palestinians and injury of thousands by Israeli snipers, for protests at the Gaza border have also been in the news with the Arab states barely objecting to the atrocities. These are incidents that profoundly impact the Arab region. Adding insult to injury, the Israeli Embassy decided to celebrate the anniversary of its founding at the Cairo Ritz Carlton and invited many Egyptian businessmen who have attended. Parliament head Abdel Aal warned parliamentarians about attending the celebrations.

This happened as revelations and leaks began to expose the role the UAE and Saudi Arabia played in the election of US President Trump and their securing the boycott of Qatar whose business dealings with Jared Kushner failed, hence prompting Trump to agree to the boycott. Additionally, Prince Salman stated that Saudi Arabia will develop nuclear weapons if Iran develops them!  Continue reading

Advertisements

neom, detentions, calls for freedom, and the ‘144th strongest man in the world’

Government/Parliament:

Saudi Prince Salman visited Egypt. During this visit, Sisi apparently gave him 1000 sq. kms of South Sinai for ‘investment’. It is a project called Neom which is part in Saudi Arabia and now will be part Egypt and Southern Sinai. Egypt signed the $10bn deal to support the Neom project.
Egypt also gave it special legal status and created an independent judiciary system for it. This was all done without parliamentary approval or notification and without any Egyptian knowing anything about it. Social media was obviously in an uproar. International media said that Egypt had given up part of its land to Saudi Arabia. One day before the Prince’s arrival, the constitutional court annuls all previous court decisions against the Tiran and Sanafeer agreement and states that it was a ‘sovereign’ decision, thereby confirming Sisi’s right to give away the islands.

The Prince and the Pope

While in Egypt, Salman visited the Cathedral and Pope Tawadros.
It should be noted that at the airport, Sisi by-passed protocols and hurried to the airplane stairs to greet the Prince. Continue reading

2018: 1st month – Copts addendum

Christmas Mass Jan 6th and 7th

Sisi at New Cathedral surrounded by massive security detail.

  • Sisi attended Christmas Mass at the Cathedral for a few minutes surrounded by a massive number of security personnel. People were heard chanting in support of Sisi. However it should be noted that church attendance was by invitation only and it was not open to the public. In fact many had been banned from attendance [see newspaper headline below].

  • Meanwhile HG Bishop Makarios of Minya leads Christmas eve mass with the less fortunate Copts in Minya.
  • The first mass in 8 years in Maghagha, Minya, was on Christmas Eve, Jan 6th, at the headquarters of the Bishophric of Magaghah and El-Adwa.
  • The church of the Copts of El Sheikh Alaa village finally opened for prayers on Christmas Eve.
  • Church bans 300 people

    Jan 4th:Meanwhile,  Pope Tawadros said that ‘Sisi honored his promise and we will pray at the Cathedral in the New Administrative City on Christmas Day.

  • Church bans approximately 300 people from attending its Christmas Mass.
  • Christmas Mass was organized for the first time in Qanater Women’s Prison.

Continue reading

“we will not abandon the love of our Lord”: attack on the Coptic church in Helwan:

December 29, 2017: Armed terrorists attacked the Church of Mar Mina and Pope Cyril in Helwan killing 9 and injuring 4, two of whom are in critical condition. When they failed to storm the church because of a lock-down, they went to a store owned by two Coptic brothers Romani and Atef Shaker,

Nermeen Sadiq died in the attack after asking her children to run inside the church.

and killed them both. According to eyewitnesses, there were 3 attackers, one of whom was wearing an explosive belt. The attack occurred at 11 am Friday morning as people were leaving the Church. [Update Dec 30: an eyewitness says it was only one attacker].

Police put all churches in the area in lock-down as they continued to secure surrounding areas. Locking the church doors actually saved the church from the attack and the terrorists were unable to storm it.  The Helwan church issued a statement confirming the attack:

بخصوص الاعتداء على كنيسة الشهيد مارمينا ومحل يملكه مسيحي بحلوان
تعرضت كنيسة الشهيد مارمينا بحلوان صباح اليوم لاعتداء إرهابي بإطلاق أعيرة نارية، تجاه الكنيسة، من قبل مجهولين،ما أسفر حتى الآن عن استشهاد شخص من القوة الأمنية المكلفة بتأمين الكنيسة وخمسة من شعب الكنيسة بالاضافة لعدد من المصابين

It should be noted that attacks on churches are now expected for Christmas and the New Year. Continue reading

copts, the closure of churches and other issues…

Several incidents regarding the Copts have occurred in the past few months. In spite of the incidents, Coptic leadership and Coptic parliamentarians continue to express their support of, and loyalty to, the regime and its leadership.

The incidents are mentioned here in reverse chronological order.

Atfeeh, Province of Giza – Dec 22:
قرية كفر الواصلين مركز اطفيح

A rumor spread that a bell would be hung on top of a three story building that hosts a church and its services including child care and an events hall. Following Friday prayers a Muslim congregation marched to the church and promised to destroy it, pelting it with stones and injuring three women. The building is owned by the church which is awaiting licensing after a Coptic owner sold it to the Church which named it El Amir Tadros Church.

Security ‘sources’ denied anything was happening in Atfeeh and stated that it was some minor incident. But it wasn’t.

Attiya beaten and imprisoned

Police finally intervened and 15 people were arrested. The Egyptian prosecutor also ordered the jailing of the Coptic owner of the building, a 63 year old man known as Am Eid Attiya, who was severely beaten and has been hospitalized, accusing him of establishing a house of worship without proper authorization and conducting prayers with his priest! Another attempt at forcing Copts into reconciliation session. Parliamentarians, who had not even visited the area, called for a reconciliation session.

The case remains open.  Continue reading