Last week, Coptic Christians in Egypt celebrated the memory of the Holy Family’s Flight into Egypt, when Mary, Child Jesus, and Joseph fled to Egypt to take refuge from the persecution of King Herod, during which they visited more than two dozen places, from Arish through the Delta and Cairo, to Assiut in Upper Egypt.
Coptic Christians in Egypt are desperately waiting for action to be taken on a new law governing the legal status of their worship, which was drafted by leaders of the other main churches in Egypt and the Ministry of Justice several months ago.
Last January, the Egyptian embassy in Washington D.C. published a document titled “Strengthening National Unity: Religious Freedom and Diversity in Egypt” that claimed great progress in the treatment of Egypt’s Coptic Christians.
In 2016, an Egyptian court sentenced four Coptic Christian teenagers to five years in prison after they appeared in a 32-second video mocking ISIS, which authorities said was an insult to Islam.
Coptic Christians in Egypt earlier this month observed the fifth anniversary of the martyrdom of 21 Christians in Libya at the hands of ISIS by dedicating a shrine to the victims and opening a museum at the Church of the Martyrs of Faith and the Homeland in the al-Our village in the Minya governate in Egypt, where most of the martyrs were from.
Gruesome incidents of violence against Christians in Egypt show the danger they continue to face in the Muslim-majority country, despite President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi’s promises to protect them.
For Coptic Christians in Egypt, Christmas is celebrated somewhat differently than it is in most of the world, although some traditions are the same.
Late last month, an Egyptian higher court granted a Coptic Christian woman equal inheritance with her brothers, overturning the rulings of two lower court judges.
Two bishops, one Catholic, the other Orthodox, have remarkably different takes on how Christians are being treated in what is considered to be one of the hotbeds of Christian persecution in Egypt.
Perhaps no place on earth serves as exhibit A for Pope Francis’s call to “resist the throwaway culture” better than Cairo’s Manshiyat Nasser neighborhood, where residents recycle an estimated 90 percent of the city’s trash.