Christians Gunned Down After Christmas Service in Egypt - White House Prayer Vigil January 21 Followed by a Peaceful Rally
Contact: Coptic American Friendship Association, 703-337-5217, Coptic.American@yahoo.com
WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 /Christian Newswire/ -- Coptic American Friendship Association (CAFA) and the Coptic community in the United States invite the media to be present at the Coptic rally in front of the main gate of the White House on Thursday, January 21 from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM in response to recent horrific attacks on the Christian community in Egypt.
Six Christians were shot and killed by an extremist Muslim group after leaving a Christmas Eve service in the Egyptian town of Naga Hammadi on Wednesday, January 6. The attack was also an attempt on the life of Bishop Kirollos, the head of the Coptic Church in the Governorate of Qena. The Egyptian authorities detained at least 16 Christians to blackmail the Copts to let go of their rights and keep silent in return for their release. CAFA calls upon the Egyptian authorities to release the innocent Copts who are still in prison without a specific charge.
Christians, mostly Orthodox Copts, comprise approximately 15 percent of Egypt's predominantly Muslim population of some 82 million people. They celebrate Christmas every year on Jan. 7 and thus the plans for a Christmas Eve attack were undoubtedly premeditated.
Other International News Agencies noted that "a similar incident occurred in April 2009 when Muslims opened fire on worshipers as they left the prayer service on Easter Eve in the village of Higaza, Qena Governorate, resulting in the murder of Amir Stephanos (36 years), Ayub Said (22) and the injury of Mina Samir (35)."
Eye-witnesses reported that the mob was chanting "Allah Akbar" and "No God except Allah" while destroying, looting and torching Coptic property in many recent attacks. The government protection is almost non existant for the Copts and the law is usually not enforced on the Muslim perpetrators.
Coptic American Friendship Association (CAFA) calls upon the US Department of State, House and Senate, rights organizations, USCIRF, and the Media to investigate these ongoing shameful mass murder and sectarian violence crimes committed by the Muslim extremists against innocent Christians in Egypt and the indirect role of the Egyptian security forces behind most incidents. The international community must hold the Egyptian regime responsible for the protection and safety of the persecuted Christian minority in Egypt. Equal citizenship rights, justice and religious freedom for Copts and converts are the very basic rights the Coptic Christians request from president Mubarak's government.
Coptic American Friendship Association (CAFA) was on the ground in Egypt investigating the massacre, interviewing the eye-witnesses, the Coptic Bishop, the injured Christians, and addressing members of the Media.
For more information, and Media interviews, please contact CAFA at Coptic.American@yahoo.com or call us at: 703.337.5217.
Coptic American Friendship Association (CAFA) is a non-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization based in the greater Washington, DC area since 1996. CAFA advocates on behalf of the persecuted Christians and works with the American and international policy makers to improve the religious freedom conditions in Egypt and the Middle East. CAFA is a co-founder and a member of the International Coptic Council (ICC).