Skip to Menu Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Latest News

  • News -

    HG Bishop Suriel with Alan Jones - 25/10/2011

  • News -

    Patriarch Kirill sent a message to Patriarch Shenouda III of the Coptic Church

  • News -

    Coptic Bishop meets Gillard and Abbott

Show Login

  • Forgot your password?
  • Forgot your username?
  • Create an account?
Eternity: Tension escalates in Egypt PDF Print E-mail

12 May 2011: Tensions between Islamists and Coptic Christians in Egypt escalated over the weekend, with attacks on two churches in Cairo’s Imbaba suburb. The clashes left 12 dead and more than 200 injured. Eternity has spoken with two Australian-based authorities for their understanding of what happened, and for an update on the situation in Egypt. Ian Wright, CEO of aid organisation Barnabas Fund Australia, says that on Saturday 7 May, members of the conservative Salafi Islamist group threw fire bombs at a church and Christian property. They also attacked another church which they believed was holding captive a female convert to Islam. He says that what triggered the violence was a televised interview in which a Christian woman denied that she had ever become a Muslim. Following the televised interview, several hundred Islamists surrounded a six-storey building, demanding the release of the convert they believed was being held captive. The residents, largely Coptic Christians, barricaded themselves within the building.

Believing there were snipers inside, the Islamists stormed the building. Wright says that since the weekend violence, the Egyptian military has stepped up security around Christian places of worship. He says the caretaker government has promised to restore the two damaged churches to their original condition. Bishop Anba Suriel of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Melbourne says the Coptic community here in Australia is saddened by the weekend’s violence. He says they are concerned that the Salafi Muslims, which he describes as an extremist group, now have a much stronger voice in post-revolution Egypt. He describes as incorrect popular Islamist perceptions that Christians in Egypt have held Muslim women captive in churches and monasteries. He also says it is incorrect that Christians in these buildings are armed and have hidden weapons. “ If they really did have weapons,” he asks, “why haven’t they used them in all these past events when they were attacked?” Suriel says Australians should be thankful for the religious freedom they enjoy. He also called on Australians to exert pressure on the Government and international community, to seek for change in Egypt. Egypt-born evangelist, Dr. Michael Youssef, commenting on his website, says: “Today, the peace and security of Egypt have been shaken. Radical, fundamentalist Islam is grabbing for power in Egypt….. The fall of the Mubarak government in February 2011 has given radical Islamists an opening to seize power and transform Egypt into an Iran-style theocratic state”.

Download as pdf

Visit Website