Egyptian Christians Displaced Amid Islamic State Terror, Allege Government Neglect
JNS.org – Amid growing concern regarding the Islamic State terror group’s increased targeting of Christians in Egypt, displaced Coptic Christians in the country’s northern Sinai claim the Egyptian government is neglecting their plight.
Numerous Coptic Christian families from the Sinai region have been displaced and moved into “camps” and “aid buildings,” following several major Islamic State terror attacks against Christians in recent months. Earlier this week, the families issued a statement regarding their situation, saying 28 families remain in the camps and are “suffering” because Egyptian officials will not “listen to us,” despite the government’s initial expression of concern for the their wellbeing.
The Christian families also stated that they have been confined to the camps for several months without sufficient housing and jobs.
“We are only receiving support from the church, which plays the role of the state toward Egyptian citizens,” they said.
The displaced families’ statement follows an Islamic State warning in early May expressing the intent to launch new attacks on Egypt’s Christians. The families’ statement also follows Islamic State terror attacks at Egyptian Coptic churches in Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday, April 9, killing a combined 45 people. Islamic State also claimed responsibility for a terror attack at St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai in mid-April, killing one policeman and injuring four others.
Despite the allegations of government neglect, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, whose leaders have had multiple meetings with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in recent years, has said Sisi “has always expressed concern about [the Copts]” during those meetings.
“I’m sure there is not enough being done because it is a community under threat, but [Sisi] was very sympathetic to their plight” and “was very adamant in his comments about it,” Hoenlein told JNS.org in March.