"In Iraq only one tenth of a million-and-a-half Christians that lived there ten years ago have survived. In Egypt we are witnessing a mass exodus of Christians. There are practically no Christians left in Libya. Ninety five percent of Christians have abandoned Homs in Syria. We, Orthodox and Catholics, must raise our voices jointly in defense of Christians subjected to persecution and repression in these countries, as well as in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nigeria and in a number of other countries as well."-- Metropolitan Hilarion
By Richard Spencer, Alexandria
Coptic Christian churches in the United States say they are having to expand to cope with new arrivals, as priests in cities like Cairo and Alexandria talk of a new climate of fear and uncertainty.
"Most of our people are afraid," Father Mina Adel, a priest at the Church of Two Saints in Alexandria said. "Not a few are leaving - for America, Canada and Australia. Dozens of families from this church alone are trying to go too."
Father Mina's church has an important place in the history of the Arab Spring. It was struck by a car bomb on New Year's Eve 2010, Egypt's worst sectarian attack in recent decades, in which 23 people were killed.
After the bombing, liberal Muslim groups staged protests in support of Christians, printing posters showing the cross and the crescent interlinked which then went on to be symbols of inter-faith unity during the Tahrir Square protests three weeks later.
But the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in parliamentary and presidential elections has changed the mood - particularly as the biggest opposition party is the even more hardline Salafist movement which wants strict Sharia law implemented.
Read it all here.
Related reading: Nuns Threatened in Upper Egypt; Coptic Christians Get No Help from Obama; Egyptian Christians Threatened; Pope Benedict: Attack on Coptic Christians Offends God; Muslim Brotherhood Has Not Abandoned Violence
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