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October 14, 2013 12:13 pm

Amnesty International: Egyptian Christians Not Protected by Authorities

avatar by JNS.org

Pope Tawadros II, the head of Egypt's Coptic church. Photo: Dragan TATIC via Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org Authorities in Egypt failed to protect Egyptian Christians following the dispersal of the supporters of ousted Islamist Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo in mid-August, according to a scathing new report from Amnesty International.

“It is deeply disturbing that the Christian community across Egypt was singled out for revenge attacks over the events in Cairo by some supporters of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi,” Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa said in a statement.

The report details how Egyptian security forces failed to prevent angry mobs from attacking Christian churches, schools, homes and charities in the days following the August 14 raid. At least four Christians were also killed in the sectarian violence.

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According to Amnesty International, more than 200 Christian-owned properties were attacked, including 43 churches that were severely damaged or razed. Angry mobs armed with guns, metal bars and knives attacked Christians, many of them chanting “God is Great” or using derogatory slogans like “you Christian dogs.”’

Egyptian Christians were a majority of Egypt’s population until the Middle Ages when Islam was introduced by the Arab invasions in the 7th century and eclipsed their religion. Today, Christianity represents nearly 10 percent of Egypt’s 85 million people, making it the largest single Christian community remaining in the Middle East.

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