November 30, 2011
Egypt's Christian minority turned out in droves for voting Monday and Tuesday in the country's first elections since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February, International Christian Concern reports. Ahead of elections, the Coptic Church discreetly told members to vote for an alliance of leftist and liberal parties sponsored by a Christian tycoon -- a move that reflected a deep fear of radical Islamists coming to power. In Christian areas of Egypt, voter lines remained continually long, and almost all expressed a common motivation: Stop the Islamists. "We are voting for liberal parties as a means of survival," said Farid George of Assiut. "Egypt is our country. My kids were raised here and I will die here." The prospect of an Islamic victory in the election has Egypt's Christians, which make up 10 percent of the population, terrified that one day strict Islamic sharia law will be imposed. Islamist parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, are expected to be the biggest winners in the election, likely to gain a plurality or even a majority in the new parliament.