Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Violence Against Christians in Egypt

From the Word on Fire blog, today's post by Fr. Stephen Grunow:

Today we feature links that detail the violence suffered by the Coptic Christians in Egypt. Below, Father Steve reminds us that for many Christians, the age of persecution is not a matter of the past, but of a very real and frightening present.

The ancient Christian cultures of the Middle East are disappearing before our eyes. Churches that reach back to the apostolic period have been diminished by centuries of Islamist dhimmitude and hemmed in by humiliating constraints which, by their nature, are meant to demoralize and subdue. The rise of radicalized sects of Islam have had further deleterious consequences for these ancient Christian cultures, and Christians themselves have become a convenient scapegoat used to explain the fragmentation of society engendered by the effects of colonization, secularization, globalization and the violence perpetrated in the name of God by jihadist ideologues.

This past weekend, Coptic Christians in Egypt found themselves at the receiving end of terror as mobs of radicalized Islamists, stirred into a furious frenzy by claims of Christian women who had converted or wanted to convert Islam being held against their will in churches. Five churches were set ablaze, hundreds injured and at least 12 people are reported dead.

Christianity is an ancient presence in Egypt. In fact, centuries ago it was the center of the Christian world, a rival in cultural achievement to the ancient Christians communities of Rome and Constantinople. Western Christians might look in puzzlement at what the media terms "sectarian violence," but look we must, because for many of our brothers and sisters in the Lord, persecution is not a memory of times past, but the reality of the present situation. Most Christians have fled the persecution and violence, but in doing so, cultural forms of the Christian Faith, which have given rise to unique expressions of art, music, literature, indeed whole ways of life, are disappearing. While cultural elites in the West wax eloquently about the necessity of "multi-culturalism" and "respect for differences," barely a mumbling word is spoken on behalf of the ancient Christians of the Middle East. Perhaps that statement is too strong, but prove me wrong.

Links are provided here that give details about the situation in Egypt. We can pray for these ancient Christian communities, but we can also use the tools of the digital media to make sure the plight of these churches becomes much more well known and outrage at their destruction prompts action by those whom our nation entrusts with power. Share these links with friends.






Retrieved May 10, 2011 fromhttp://wordonfire.org/WoF-Blog/WoF-Blog/May-2011/News-Violence-Against-Christians-in-Egypt.aspx

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