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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mubarak No Friend to Copts

The honeymoon is over for Hosni Mubarak, who has been the autocratic president of Egypt for nearly 30 years.

Crowds of hundreds of thousands of angry Egyptians have demonstrated on the streets of Cairo every day since January 25, 2011, demanding that Mubarak resign or be removed as president.

Mubarak's announcement on Egyptian television on February 1 that he will not seek another term as president in September 2011 is too little and too late. The vast majority of Egyptians want Mubarak to relinquish the presidency right now -- not in September.

A relatively large group of Mubarak supporters "came out of the woodwork" on February 2, and there was much bloodshed, as a result of supporters and opponents of Mubarak fighting with rocks, knives, bottles, and other weapons.

Reports indicate that hundreds of these Mubarak "supporters" were actually paid by the Mubarak administration to carry signs supporting Mubarak. This fact was revealed by several Egyptians who also said they were told they would be paid if they agreed to support Mubarak in the demonstrations.

This kind of artificial monetary "support" itself clearly illustrates the corruption that pervades the Mubarak administration.

Mubarak became president of Egypt in October 1981, following the assassination of President Anwar El Sadat. He has become one of the longest-lasting presidents in the world.

Mubarak, a Muslim, has done very little to support and protect the Christian minority living in predominantly Islamic Egypt.

The International Christian Concern (ICC), which exists to serve as a watchdog for the worldwide Christian Church, has ranked Egypt as the third worst nation in the world -- outranked only by Iraq and Iran -- in its recently-published 2011 "Hall of Shame" listing of countries that persecute Christians the most.

The largest Christian Church in Egypt is the Coptic Orthodox Church. Pope Shenouda III, the head of Egypt's Coptic Church, has for many years called for protection for Egyptian Christians from the current government, but his calls have been ignored for the most part.

On January 1, 2011 during the New Year's Eve mass, a bomb exploded in front of Saints Coptic Orthodox Church in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria, killing 21 worshipers and injuring about 100 others. Several other Christians have been killed in Egypt in recent years, just because of the fact that they are Christians.

Christian residents of Egypt are now hoping to have an Egyptian leader who will provide them with more protection and support.

Today, Egypt -- with its population of 80 million people -- is desperately seeking a significant change in its political climate. Most Egyptians have become tired of decades of repressive dictatorial rule.

Indeed, it is now time for Egypt to move forward with a new democratic president -- a president who will lead Egyptians on a path to the freedom and destiny that they deserve.

Source:  George Patsourakos' Theology and Society blog

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