YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon – On October 5, 2020, a mob of Islamic extremists attacked the homes of Coptic Christians in the Egyptian village of Dabous, located in the Upper Egypt region of Minya.
According to International Christian Concern, two young Muslim adults beat up a ten-year old Coptic Christian child. Some Christian adults retaliated, triggering the attack the next day.
Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s 100 million people, making the country home to the largest Christian population in the Arab world.
The vast majority of Christians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church, the largest Church in the Oriental Orthodox communion – However there are about 350,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians, 300,000 Protestants, and just under 200,000 Catholics.
Christians suffer discrimination from the Muslim majority, and often find it hard to find jobs, get a good education, and participate in the social life of the country. In addition, the community is often the target of Islamist violence.
The ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, Claire Evans, says the Egyptian authorities “seek to guarantee silence, not safety.”
“The government under [President Abdel Fattah] al-Sisi has institutionalized a culture of silence by punishing anyone who speaks freely about the challenges they face. The government has expended so much energy demonstrating to the West how they are promoting religious freedom, but they have not taken concrete steps to protect religious freedom,” she told Crux.
Evans said it was necessary for Christians to speak up and speak out.
“Being silent about these issues re-victimizes the victims. In the face of