Grim Future for Christians in Egypt
Written By: Charlie Butts and Chad Groening - One News Now | Posted: Thursday, May 31st, 2012
With elections under way in Egypt today, a lingering question is how the country's persecuted Christians will fare. Regardless, one native sees no reason for optimism.
Coptic Christians are a minority in Egypt, where persecution takes place on a regular basis. Jerry Dykstra, media relations director at Open Doors USA, tells OneNewsNow believers are allowed to vote, but the candidates vying for government leadership are Muslim, which does not bode well for improvement.
"It's estimated about six million Coptic Christians will be among the eligible voters of this 50 million overall," Dykstra reports. "Of course, Coptics make up about ten percent of the overall population of Egypt, and obviously, they've been marginalized over the past many years."
In fact, he notes that persecution increased when the revolution began about 15 months ago.
"That's because there's nobody to protect them. The police force doesn't protect them very much, as we've seen in some incidents," the media relations director laments. "For example, when they request building permits for new churches or to construct additions to their churches, they're never approved and they're also targets especially in the countryside of burning of churches."
In addition, they are required to carry identification indicating they are Christians, and Muslims who convert to Christianity risk losing their family and jobs, and perhaps death. So Open Doors USA is asking Christians to pray the election results will bring an end to the persecution and give Christians in the country the freedom to live out their faith.
But an Egyptian-born Muslim-to-Christian convert says there is no reason to be optimistic about the upcoming presidential elections in her native country.
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