The current state of Coptic Christians in Egypt is becoming harder for the free world to turn a blind eye to. This is true thanks to thousands of Copts who expressed their decades of resentment and suffering in peaceful street protests all over the world not too long ago.
But who are these people? And what problems do they have?
Coptic Christians, also known as Copts, are the largest religious minority in the Middle East, as well as the largest Christian denomination in Egypt, accounting for 10-15 percent of the country’s 95 million people. Even though many Copts now identify as Arabs, they are historically believed to be the last remaining descendants of the civilization of Ancient Egyptians.
To a very large extent, Copts are located in Egypt but they also have settlements in neighboring Libya and Sudan. The Canadian Coptic Association estimates that there are currently around 35,000 Copts living in Canada.
In a nation where Muslims make up 90% of the total population, Coptic Christians are persecuted on several occasions. Attacks on Coptic churches are not few and far between either and the Coptic population also has a history of being subject to false impeachments and degradation by the state.
Whilst the divide between the country’s Muslims and the Copts has always been present, the divisions were worsened following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 when the military brought down the British settlement and established the Arab Republic of Egypt as a Muslim state, and the decades that followed saw an exodus of Coptic Christians.
The current state of Copts in Egypt
Coptic Christians face never-ending harassment from the Egyptian state – for example, they are not allowed to build churches, they are often discriminated against or lynched in public, and the predominantly Muslim Government normally neglects their condition.
This has made the relationship between the state and the current head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Pope Tawadros II, extremely shaky, with Copts often toeing a very narrow line in their demand for religious freedom and rights.
Is the State doing anything?
The Egyptian state has repeatedly promised to look after their Coptic Christian population; however, such promises have persistently failed to take shape. In the wake of decades of Exodus, there are currently over 1 million Coptic Christians across the world and more than 100 churches, including throughout Canada, which has the second largest Coptic Diaspora in the world after the United States.
How can we help?
XYZ is a public charity organization under section 501 (C) (3) established in 2018. We aim to advocate and work to strengthen the absolute equality for the Copts in Egypt through all peaceful and civil means sanctioned by universal standards and with the moral and material support of institutions within and outside Egypt that advocate equal rights and fight prejudice based on religion, gender, race or personal beliefs.
Facing an uncertain future, Copts are struggling to survive. As a humanitarian organization that has volunteered to the aid of Copts, XYZ appeals to all involved to help those fleeing violence to reach the refuge. We continue to provide life-saving assistance to Copts in Egypt and other parts of the Middle East.