Egypt’s Copts are an indigenous ethno-religious minority who practice Christianity in this largely Islamic country. Because of their religious practices, the Copts have faced discrimination from their government. The construction of Coptic churches is stringently regulated, some Copts have been forcefully converted to Islam, and the country refuses to recognize the Copts’ status as an ethnic minority. In recent months, a flare up of violence has rocked the Coptic community in Alexandria, Egypt. Inflammatory and false newspaper reports of an “anti-Islam” play performed by a Coptic church there caused thousands of Muslims to launch violent protests, killing several people. A Coptic nun was stabbed during the upheaval.
LCHR is working to promote the religious freedom of the Copts and to make sure that they receive equal treatment and protection from the Egyptian government. We are networking with Coptic churches in the US to create a grassroots constituency that represents the community’s voice and effectively brings Coptic concerns to decision makers.