Contact: Magdi Khalil, 202-725-3091, Magdi.Khalil@Yahoo.com
WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Copts, Egypt's Christian minority, number approximately 12 million, about 15% of Egypt's population. Under the rule of President Mubarak, violent attacks against them run rampant. These attacks were once carried out mainly by organized Islamic terrorist groups. The climate of hatred in Egypt has worsened to the point that attacks against Christians are now carried out by their Muslim neighbors.
The latest attack took place in Naga Hamady, Upper Egypt, during the late hours of Wednesday, January 6, 2010. Drive-by gunmen opened fire from machineguns at worshippers coming out of church after celebrating Coptic Christmas mass. Seven people were instantly killed, and many others were seriously wounded.
The escalation of attacks is encouraged by the Egyptian government's lack of resolve in addressing the problem and adopting a plan of action to stop it at its roots. The climate of hatred is deeply entrenched in Egypt's mosques, the Egyptian media and the Egyptian educational system. Very seldom are killers of Copts apprehended, and when arrested, they are often released for lack of evidence, or given a very light sentence.
President Mubarak, now in power for almost 3 decades, during which 7 American presidents took office, turns a blind eye to what happens to the Coptic citizens of his country. This seems to be an attempt at appeasing the Islamists to strengthen his hold on power and pass it on to his son. Not once, did President Mubarak address his nation assuring the Copts that he cares about their problems.
Egypt, the recipient of 2 billion dollars yearly of American foreign aid since the signing of the Camp David peace treaty in1978, can not continue abusing the human rights of its Coptic Christian citizens, a basic perquisite for receiving American foreign aid.
We ask President Obama, the US Congress and government officials, and all freedom-loving people and organizations in the US and around the world to support the right of the Copts, for protection from aggression and equality under the law.
The American Coptic community will hold a rally in support of the Copts, Christians of Egypt, on Thursday 21, 2010 from 11:00AM to 2:00PM in front of the main gate of the White House, and from 2:30 to 3:00PM in front of the Egyptian Embassy