(SOURCE) In the city of Minya on the banks of the Nile River in Egypt, some 40 percent of the population are followers of Christianity. Making up almost half of the population in the city, however, did not stop the persecution of Christians in this city.
According to a report by The New York Times, Christians continue to suffer from violence and humiliation in Muslim-dominated Egypt, where only 10 percent of the population believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
For Christians living in Egypt, there is a constant threat that their houses and other properties will be burned down, and that they will be mugged while walking on the streets. Even churches are not being spared as they are desecrated, with hate graffiti written on their walls.
The New York Times also cited data from Coptic Christian officials showing how the Christian community has suffered 37 attacks in a span of three years. This does not include the 300 other attacks right after the Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted from power in 2013.
With these continued attacks, Bishop Makarios from the city of Minya fears the persecution is already too much for Christian believers to handle.
“We are at a breaking point,” Bishop Makarios told The New York Times. “People can’t put up with any more of this.”
The relentless persecution being experienced by Christians, the bishop said, is making it difficult to follow the Coptic Pope Tawadros II’s advice to shun protests for now.
For instance, a lot of local Copts were appalled with how an older Christian woman was recently stripped naked by a mob, on allegations that her son was having an affair with a Muslim. As it turned out, the accusations of the affair were all false.
“After that woman was stripped, we couldn’t be quiet, not after that,” Bishop Makarios said.
What especially angered Copts, he added, “is that officials came out denying the incident.”
“Had they apologised or said they would follow it up, it would be different, but this was an insult to Egypt and the women of Egypt,” he said.
What’s more disheartening, according to Bishop Makarios, is that perpetrators of such attacks are being freed.
“Every one of them is released, not a single one has been punished, and that’s what really upsets the Copts,” he said. “So long as no one is punished, this is just going to get worse.”