The intensifying violence and terrorism committed against Egypt’s Coptic Christians show signs of spreading into Egyptian diaspora communities in the West, reports The Tablet magazine (Jan. 8).
The current revolts in Egypt and the participation of Egyptian immigrants in Western countries in such protests suggests the strong transnational ties that exist beyond that country. Since a New Year’s day suicide bombing in a Coptic church in Alexandria, killing 21 people and injuring 79, Coptic churches in France, Germany and the Netherlands have received threats by Muslim extremists of impending attacks. Plans to attack the Copts in Germany had been made over the Internet and were “to a certain extent credible,” according to one German church authority.
It is not clear what the current crisis in Egypt will mean for its Christian community at home and abroad. Writing on the evangelical website EthicsDaily (Jan. 31), Ayman Ibrahim, a student at Fuller Seminary, reports that Egyptian Christians fall into two main groups: one group “supports the demonstrators and calls for ‘change,’ without being sure of what the future might hold for them. The other group stays home or within church territories in continuous prayer for God to save Egypt.” He adds that some are concerned that the Muslim Brotherhood may gain power and move the country in more strongly Islamist directions.
(The Tablet, 1 King’s Cloisters, Clifton Walk, London W6 0QZ, UK; World, P.O. Box 20002, Asheville, NC 2880; http://www.ethicsdaily. com)