Faith McDonnell has been with IRD since 1993. She is the Director of Religious Liberty Programs and of the Church Alliance for a New Sudan. She writes and speaks on the subject of the persecuted church.
[Editors note: The following article was possible due to information shared by Margaret Adel of MidEast Christian News]
Just in time for the second phase of the constitutional referendum in Egypt, MidEast Christan News reported on December 19 that in Tama, one of the central villages of Assiut, “unidentified persons” had distributed leaflets threatening the Copts who live in the area. Assiut has a high population of Copts, and has been the scene of persecution against Egypt’s Christians in past years.
“To the Crusaders [Christians] of Tama,” the leaflet says. “You are of those who announced a war on Islam, insulted the Prophet (PBUH), plotted against the Islamic president, mobilized to prevent the application of Islamic law and attempt to abolish Article II.” It warns that churches, monasteries, and priests would be attacked if “we find any church or Christian school without permits, and if any Christian even threatens to witness against the divine, the Prophet (PBUH) or his companions or Muslim holy places.”The intimidation is timed perfectly to attempt to influence the results of the second phase of the referendum, scheduled for Saturday, December 22. Similar threats and actual acts of violence have been occurring since the protests began against President Mohammed Morsi in November, and, says MidEast Christian News ”there were attempts at preventing Copts from voting in some provinces during the first referendum phase last Saturday, 15 December. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department makes vague statements deploring “the violence between rival groups of protestors” and wanting to see “dialogue.”
Will anyone, with the exception of the State Department, be surprised if Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist enforcers prevent many Copts from voting, and a second phase of the constitutional referendum passes, with full implementation of Sharia and all that entails?
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