Archive for violence

Religious Tensions in Egypt

Posted in Egypt with tags , , , , , on June 17, 2008 by Mike

The Middle East Times has an interesting article about the increasing religious tensions between the country’s Muslims and its Coptic Christians.

Still, to say that Egypt’s Christian Copts — 16 million in a country of 81.7 million — have coexisted peacefully with the Muslim majority may be stretching the truth. While the two communities have largely gotten along over the years, there have been periodic clashes, some of them violent, some of them leaving many dead and wounded.

Ever since the Muslims became the majority in Egypt around the middle of the first century, Egypt’s Christians and followers of St. Mark the apostle and evangelist, known as Copts, found themselves relegated to the position of second-class citizens. Their situation began to improve in the early 19th century under the stability and tolerance brought to the country under the dynasty of Mohammad Ali.

Yet, despite Egypt’s generally more moderate approach to religion when compared with other Muslim countries — such as Saudi Arabia, for example — strife between the country’s Muslim and Christian communities will periodically make the headlines.

Ahmad al-Aswani, an Egyptian writer, posted on June 7 an essay on the liberal Web site Aafaq.org, in which he sheds light on a series of escalating attacks on members of the Copts community.

“What is happening to our Coptic brothers … is no longer a matter of sporadic incidents,” writes al-Aswani. “It is open season on Egypt’s Copts,” said the Egyptian writer in a dispatch translated from Arabic by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

“It is no longer a matter of sporadic incidents,” said al-Aswani.

Read the rest of the article for examples of the violence that Muslims have committed against Christians.

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More on Sri Lanka

Posted in Sri Lanka with tags , , , , on March 16, 2008 by Mike

Here’s a warm welcome to our newest Blogroll member, Remember Ambassadors. They’ve got a great article with more info on the violence that’s happening in Sri Lanka.

About 70% of Sri Lanka’s 20 million people are Buddhist. In fact, Sri Lanka has the longest continuous history of Buddhism among all Buddhist nations. The other 30% is divided among a variety of religions, including Islam and Hinduism, with Christians comprising around 6% of the total population.

It appears that hostilities towards Christians is growing. In just the past couple of weeks, there have been a number of attacks against Christians and their church buildings. Though these may be unrelated incidents of persecution, it could be that this marks an escalation of violence against Christians in general!