Egypt: Christians Should Be WorriedFebruary 7, 2011 - 12:14 PM | by: Greg Burke
While some of the demonstrations in Tahrir Square have shown Christians and Muslims praying together peacefully, the transition taking place in Egypt does not necessarily bode well for Christians in the country. If fact, they are running a pretty serious risk of finding someone in power who is not as tolerant to them as President Hosni Mubarak has been.
“I don’t believe Mubarak is a good man, but he’s at least ten times better than the Muslim Brotherhood is,” a popular tweeter named Maged told FoxNews.Com. “Imagine if they took control with American approval.”
Maged, who described the Muslim Brotherhood as the “mother of all fears,” described a situation for Christians in Egypt that sounds like a nightmare: “About 90 percent of the population here believes that slitting our throats is their way to heaven.”
The uprising has led to new attacks on Egyptian Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the population. A church in Rafah, near the border with Gaza, was hit with a firebomb, but the church was empty and no one was injured. Two days later, not far from Cairo, 11 members of two Christian families were killed in a brutal attack in which four others were wounded. That attack, which has not been widely reported in the mainstream media, apparently took place because of the lax security situation at the time.
Egypt can boast to having the largest Christian community in the Mideast. But life has not been easy for Egyptian Christians under Mubarak, as they complained of discrimination and at times persecution. The New Year began with a bombing at a Coptic church in Alexandria that left 23 dead.
While the Copts and other Christians may not have gotten the protection they needed under Mubarak, the situation will almost certainly be worse if the Muslim Brotherhood takes control of the country.
“The Muslim Brotherhood has a long-term commitment to establishing an Islamic state under sharia rule in Egypt,” Nina Shea, Director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, told FoxNews.Com. “The Copts and other Christians should be worried. They would be reduced to dhimmi status – denied the right to celebrate Christmas and weddings or otherwise publicly display their faith.”
Shea said “Christians would be defined by the state to be a dangerous fifth column,” and she predicts there would be a mass exodus of Christians, similar to the one in Iraq. Given the size of the Christian population in Egypt, Shea noted that “this would be tantamount to the end of religious diversity and pluralism in the Middle East and would inevitably lead to a deepening of Islamic radicalization.”