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Egypt Foils Attack on Christians Planned for Great and Holy Pascha

Persecution of Christians in Egypt: we are grateful to God that this attack was foiled. Security forces often do not interfere with such plots, because they actually agree with the attackers. The U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF), in its 2019 Annual Report, placed Egypt among its Tier 2 violators of religious freedom for “engaging in or tolerating systematic and ongoing religious freedom violations, thereby meeting at least one of the three elements of the standard for designation as a ‘country of particular concern,’ or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).”

The USCIRF report also notes that “anti-Christian mob violence occurred with impunity and regularity in Upper Egypt; on several occasions, these incidents came in direct response to efforts by local Christians to legally register their churches. Meanwhile, Egyptian affiliates of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and domestic terror groups continued to target local Christians in addition to government officials and security forces.”

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Egypt, see here.

“Egypt Announces Foiled Easter Attack,” International Christian Concern, April 16, 2020:

04/16/2020 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – After Egyptian security forces killed seven suspected militants in Cairo on Tuesday, the Ministry of Interior also shared that the suspected terrorist cell was plotting to attack the country’s Christians this upcoming Easter weekend. April 19th is the date that many Orthodox Christians, including Egypt’s Coptic Christians, celebrate Easter.

While the authorities said that they have found ammunition, weapons, and explosives, it is not clear how they determined that an attack on Coptic Christians during Orthodox Easter was forthcoming by this particular group of suspected militants. Any attempt at violence which is foiled is indeed praiseworthy, yet it is important to remember the context.

Egypt has routinely been accused by multiple human rights groups of using charges of terrorism to cover up dissidence. They’ve also been condemned for killing everyone during counter-terrorism raids, making it impossible to conduct due process of law and a thorough investigation. The government has also used attacks against Christians, particularly during the Easter period, to seize increases of power at the expense of civil rights. Because of COVID-19, churches are not hosting Easter celebrations this year….

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