Coptic Christians Fear Rise of Islamists on Eve of Presidential Elections

Religion Today

Coptic Christians Fear Rise of Islamists on Eve of Presidential Elections


A year ago, Christians in Egypt hoped the revolution would bring them equal rights. Instead, things are worse than ever before. With the country's first post-Mubarak elections set to begin May 23, many Christians fear the next president will turn Egypt into an even more restrictive Islamic government that will have no room for their community of at least 8.5 million, the Washington Post reports. Under Mubarak, Christians were treated like second-class citizens -- forced to get special permissions to build churches and subjected to hate crimes that went unpunished -- but now, with the race shaping up to a choice between Islamists and former members of Mubarak's government, most Christians are rallying behind the latter, despite past persecution. In addition to an increase in attacks on churches, Egyptian Christians have been terrified by other acts of aggression -- such as a a recent incident of Muslims slicing off a Christian man's ear -- and crackdowns on Christian protests by the military. "It scares me that maybe we could become Iran," said Amir Dous, a Coptic Christian.

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