Copts are the modern pharos who have participated in all aspects of life since the Arab arrival in Egypt. They excelled in financial management and therefore were responsible for ministry of finance in many cases and joined all revolutions in Egypt including the very recent ones in Egypt in January 25, 2011 and June 30, 2013 to claim their rights in a modern civil state.
By the end of 2018, we find that the law o building churches was not albe to stop all sectarian attacks on Christians and many of them are still praying in tents! For that reason, President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi decided to establish the Supreme Committee to Encounter Sectarian Incidents in December 30, 2018.
I want to mention here few sectarian incidents that happened because of building churches. One of them is the sectarian attack at Manien village, Beni Suef, in April 16, 2018, where four houses of Copts were set on fire because the Copts held prayers at a church building! In Zanqa village, Luxor, witnessed another sectarian attack on August 23, 2018, where Muslim extremists demonstrated in front of St. Mary church and attacked it refusing its legalization. Police have scattered them without arresting any of them. In August 25, 2018, few villagers demonstrated in Ezbet Sultan village to prevent Copts from holding prayers at the church that is following procedures of legalization, but the place was shut down against the law and principles of freedom of worship. In August 31, 2018, Copts in Demshaw Hashim village were attacked by fanatics and their houses were looted and demolished and some of them were set on fire and some Copts were seriously injured. The Church of Koum Rahib village was shut down over similar attacks by fanatics on December 9.
We should also remember the Copts who were murdered over their religious identity like 28 Coptic pilgrims near St. Samuel monastery in May 2017 and another 8 in November 2, 2018. In December 11, 2018, two men were killed by a policeman assigned to secure a church in Minya.
We have to find the roots of the sectarian problem in Egypt, and this won’t be too hard giving the great history and people of Egypt. The rule of law is the key to solve this problem as well as the renewal of religious discourse. Media has to do its role to spread culture of belonging, peace, love and equal citizenship. May God preserve Egypt forever.