Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Middle East Forum: Days ago, for example, Copts held a funeral for Wahid Jacob, a young Christian deacon who used to serve in St. John the Baptist Church, part of the Qusiya diocese in Asyut, Egypt. He was kidnapped on August 21 by “unknown persons” who demanded an exorbitant ransom from his impoverished family—1,200,000 Egyptian pounds (equivalent to $171,000 USD).
Bloomberg: “Some parts of society think the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t genuinely desire reconciliation. Ordinary citizens are afraid of reconciliation with people who were violent and who they think lack good intentions.”
Catholic Culture: The spokesman for Egypt’s Catholic bishops has told the Fides news agency that a Coptic Orthodox monastery near Minya, a city of 250,000 in the north-central part of the nation, has been attacked by Islamists.
Religion Clause Blog: The New York Times reports in a front-page article today that the Egyptian military has begun a propaganda campaign using Muslim scholars to prevent insubordination among soldiers and police.
Voice of America: The head of Egypt’s weekly Christian newspaper calls the ouster of former president Morsi a people’s coup, not a military takeover. Youssef Sidhom says his country is in a struggle against political Islam.
CNSNews: Hundreds of Coptic Christian and Egyptian Americans rallied outside the White House today to express their support for the Egyptian army in its effort to protect people in Egypt from Muslim Brotherhood.
Wall Street Journal: No one knows exactly when the Virgin Mary Church was built, but the fourth and fifth centuries are both possible options. In both cases, it was the time of the Byzantines. Egypt’s Coptic Church—to which this church in modern-day Delga belonged—had refused to bow to imperial power and Rome’s leadership over the nature of Christ.
Aleteia: Our Aleteia Experts strongly advise against US military intervention in Egypt – even though they agree the situation is bleak for Egyptian Christians.
BizPacReview: Over 200 Coptic Christians in Nashville, Tenn. took to the streets Monday in a mass demonstration calling out the Obama administration for its lack of response and begging Americans to “pray for Egypt” while calling for an end to the terrorism inflicted by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Christian Post: “Egypt has not witnessed this size of an attack on Christians, on churches [current reports of up to 50 churches damaged or destroyed] since 1321,” said Samuel Tadros, a research fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, to The Christian Post on Tuesday.
Christians, Other Egyptians Protest Perceived Pro-Muslim Brotherhood Bias of White House, Media, CAIR
Patrick Goodenough at CNSNews: Coptic Christians and other Egyptian-Americans plan a rally in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to highlight what they say is a pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias by the Obama administration and “certain American media.”
Terence P. Jeffrey at CNSNews: The Bush-Obama policies were rooted in two great errors. Their job was not to change other nations, but to protect the liberty, security and prosperity of this nation. And the greatness of this nation has ultimately been rooted not merely in the admittedly felicitous form of our government, but in the popular embrace of moral truths — expressly taught by millennia of Judeo-Christian tradition — that make all freedom possible.
Religion Clause Blog: The draft retains Article 2 that declares Islam country’s religion, but eliminates Article 219 that sets out rules for determining what is shariah law. The committee also changed Article 6 to ban political parties based on religion or on mixing religion with politics. This could lead to the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.
AP: In a new report, New York-based Human Rights Watch said Thursday that authorities are “largely absent or failed to intervene” when churches or properties come under attack.
WorldNetDaily: President Obama’s half-brother in Kenya could cause the White House more headaches over new evidence linking him to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and establishing that controversial IRS supervisor Lois Lerner signed his tax-exempt approval letter.
Zenit: “This is not a civil war between Christians and Muslims. It is not a civil war but a war against terrorism. And the majority of the population is against terrorism and religious extremism.”
Rich Lowry at NY Post: For the first time in 1,600 years, they didn’t pray this past Sunday at the Virgin Mary and Anba Abraam monastery in a village in Southern Egypt.
Reuters: As the army ruthlessly crushes the Muslim Brotherhood on the streets of Cairo, having swept away its elected president, Egypt is being painted as the graveyard of the Arab Spring and of Islamist hopes of shaping the region’s future.
FoxNews: Copts whose church was one of dozens destroyed by Muslim Brotherhood supporters have returned to the charred house of worship, with their pastor vowing the violence suffered by his flock will make them “better Christians.”
Islamist mob parades nuns in Cairo as prisoners of war after six hours looting church school and replacing cross with banner resembling Al Qaeda flag
Daily Mail: A mob marched nuns through the battle-torn streets of Cairo ‘like prisoners of war’ in the latest outrage against Egypt’s Christian minority. Sister Manal, principal of a Franciscan school in suburban Cairo, watched for six hours as a mob looted the building, knocked the cross off the gate and replaced it with a black banner resembling the flag of Al Qaeda.
CNSNews: After torching a Franciscan school, Islamists paraded three nuns on the streets like “prisoners of war” before a Muslim woman offered them refuge. Two other women working at the school were sexually harassed and abused as they fought their way through a mob.
Daniel Pipes at the Middle East Forum: Now comes a testimonial from an un-named Egyptian official via the Israeli politician Yossi Beilin in “Morsi didn’t win the elections” that Ahmed Shafik, the former air force commander and former president Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, actually won the race by a narrow margin . . .
One News Now: “So now they have to deal with an insurgency of a very small minority of people,” he explains. “We estimate them being at the very maximum 200,000 people in a country of about 90 million, so it’s a very small number. They can cause a lot of damage, but they do not represent the Muslims of Egypt.”
The Hill: Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called Thursday for the Obama administration to freeze U.S. aid to Egypt.
CNSNews: Some supporters of Egypt’s ousted Islamist president directed their wrath at the country’s Christian minority Wednesday, in what activists described as “the worst coordinated attacks on Egypt’s Coptic community in modern history.”
Egyptian Govt Calls On Morsi Supporters to End Violence, as Islamists Burn Down Scores of Christian Churches and Homes
TheTower.org: Egyptian government and military forces are struggling to dampen violence this evening, after a day of clashes between the army and supporters of Egypt’s former Muslim Brotherhood-linked president Mohammed Morsi reportedly killed over 230 protesters and 43 police officers.
Al Arabiya: The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt Thursday vowed to bring down the “military coup” that toppled former President Mohammed Mursi and said it remained committed to peaceful activism after a deadly crackdown to disperse sit-ins by protesters calling for the re-installment of the Islamist leader.
Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review: In the familiar pattern, the Western media are focused on the military raids against Islamic supremacists in Egypt but ignoring the latter’s use of violence and of women and children as human shields. After all, the “protesters” say they are “peaceful.”
France24.com: The death toll continues to rise in Egypt, a day after the presidency declared a month-long state of emergency in most of the country. Egypt’s new leaders justify this exceptional measure on the grounds that armed Muslim Brotherhood supporters allegedly fired at the security forces. Videos doing the rounds on the internet are supposed proof of such allegations.
NBC: At least 95 people were killed and 874 injured, the country’s health ministry said, but the toll looked certain to rise as unrest spread from Cairo to other parts of the country.
AP: Police have fired tear gas as clashes erupted during rallies by hundreds of supporters of Egypt’s Islamist president in front of government buildings in the heart of Cairo.
Townhall: Arizona Senator John McCain is in Egypt with South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham just weeks after the new government, run by the Muslim Brotherhood, was overthrown by the military.
AP: It was nighttime and 10,000 Islamists were marching down the most heavily Christian street in this ancient Egyptian city, chanting “Islamic, Islamic, despite the Christians.” A half-dozen kids were spray-painting “Boycott the Christians” on walls, supervised by an adult.
Raymond Ibrahim at Middle East Forum: Days ago, al-Qaeda’s Egyptian leader, Ayman Zawahiri, portrayed the overthrow of Muhammad Morsi and the Brotherhood as a “Crusader” campaign led by Coptic Pope Tawadros II who, according to Zawahiri and other terrorists, is trying to create a Coptic state in Egypt. Since then, not only are Egypt’s Christians and churches now being attacked in ways unprecedented in the modern era . . .
Washington Post: But some girls who grow up in Egypt’s poor rural communities face an even scarier sort of child marriage: the temporary kind. Sex tourism to Egypt tends to spike in the summer, when wealthy men from Gulf countries flood into Egypt and thousands of underage girls are sold by their parents into temporary “marriages,” according to a story by Inter Press Service.
AP: Egyptian authorities and the media say that nearly a dozen bodies have been discovered close to Cairo’s two mass sit-ins for Morsi, and that all were victims of pro-Morsi protesters who took them for government spies.
Wall Street Journal: The Obama administration increasingly fears that Egypt’s military, ignoring American appeals, is deepening a crackdown that could spark a sustained period of instability and lead members of the country’s Muslim Brotherhood to take up arms.
The Hill: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) plans to use next week’s vote on transportation spending to end aid to Egypt following the ouster of the country’s freely elected president.
AP on MyWay: Egyptian police detained two leaders of a Muslim Brotherhood-allied party in the latest in a wave of arrests of prominent Islamists, while the European Union’s top diplomat held talks Monday with officials in Cairo in an attempt to mediate an end to the country’s crisis, officials said.
Christian Science Monitor: Proponents of deposed President Morsi say the coup has deprived them of their vote. But the coup’s backers say there is more to democracy than majority support.
NY Times: The commander of the armed forces on Wednesday called on Egyptians to hold mass demonstrations on Friday that he said would give the army a “mandate” to fight violence and terrorism, signaling a possible crackdown against Islamist supporters of Egypt’s deposed president.
AP: Clashes between supporters and opponents of the country’s ousted president before dawn on Tuesday near the main campus of Cairo University left six dead, a senior medical official said.
CBN: The recent upheaval in Egypt once again brings to the forefront the plight of the country’s Christians who have come under increased attack from Islamists since the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.
Catholic Culture: The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church has suspended the weekly audiences that he ordinarily holds in Cairo, due to security concerns.
Middle East Forum: There is also widespread belief that Patterson’s “meddling” in Egypt’s affairs is not limited to General Sisi and the Egyptian media. Several of Egypt’s revolutionary forces, including Tamarod, which played a pivotal role in the June 2013 revolution, are preparing to stage a protest in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo “calling for the ejection of ambassador Anne Patterson.”
Imam Zaid Shakir at Aljazeera: Political Islam must embrace pluralistic societies and reconcile religion with constitutionalism if it is to survive.
Can Islam Embrace Religious Freedom? Can Religious Freedom Undermine Islamist Terrorism? Is the U.S. State Department Witless?
Thomas F. Farr at National Review: In two posts last week (here and here) I wrote that America’s failure to advance religious freedom in places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Egypt had harmed the victims of religious persecution and undermined U.S. national security.
THV11.com (CNN)(includes video): Since Morsi’s downfall earlier this month, the country has seen an increase in attacks on Egyptian Christians. Muslim extremists appear to be blaming the Christian minority, at least in part, for what’s been taking place over the past couple of weeks.
Alateia: The UK head of a charity that supports persecuted Christians is calling on people to pray for peace in Egypt after a sudden spike in attacks on Copts in the wake of President Morsi’s dramatic downfall.
Hurriyetdaily News: Turkey’s secular system is the main factor that differentiates Turkey from Arab countries in terms of political Islam, according to a former Turkish foreign minister. ‘Had Egyptians endorsed a secular Constitution, they would have been somewhere else,’ says Yaşar Yakış, a former envoy to Cairo
Bloomberg: Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi massed at new rallies demanding his reinstatement, ratcheting up the pressure on the military that overthrew him.
Egypt Independent: North Cairo Court sentenced a controversial Salafi preacher to three years in prison on Monday. Ahmed Mohamed Abdallah, better known as Abu Islam, faces three years in prison and a LE10,000 fine for insulting Christianity.
Boston Globe (AP): Tens of thousands of Islamists rallied Friday in cities across Egypt, vowing to sustain for months their campaign to restore deposed President Mohammed Morsi to power.
George F. Will at Human Events: Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi knows neither Thomas Jefferson’s advice that “great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities” nor the description of Martin Van Buren as a politician who “rowed to his object with muffled oars.” Having won just 52 percent of the vote, Morsi pursued his objective — putting Egypt irrevocably on a path away from secular politics and social modernity — noisily and imprudently.
Open Doors USA: Hundreds of Egyptian Christians have been victimized in a wave of kidnappings since the fall of the Mubarak government in 2011. The Association of Victims of Abduction and Forced Disappearance reports having registered 500 cases across Egypt since early 2011 in which Coptic Christian girls have been kidnapped.
Catholic Culture: A Coptic Catholic bishop has criticized Egypt’s new amended constitution, which came into force on July 8 by government decree. “We are concerned,” said Bishop Kamal Fahim Awad (Boutros) Hanna of Minya.
CNSNews: Father Rafik Greiche, head of the press office of the Egyptian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, declared that the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood supporters on July 3 was “a joyous day for Christians.”
AP: Syria’s embattled president said Thursday that Arab identity is back on the right track after the fall from power of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which he contends had used religion for its own political gain.
AP: Egypt’s military-backed government tightened a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday, ordering the arrest of its revered leader in a bid to choke off the group’s campaign to reinstate President Mohammed Morsi one week after an army-led coup.
Boston Globe (AP): With a mob of Muslim extremists on their tail, the Christian businessman and his nephew climbed up on the roof and ran for their lives, jumping from building to building in their southern Egyptian village. Finally they ran out of rooftops. Forced back onto the street, they were overwhelmed by several dozen men. The attackers hacked them with axes and beat them with clubs and tree limbs, killing Emile Naseem, 41.
AP: Saudi Arabia’s finance minister says the kingdom has pledged $5 billion in grants and loans to Egypt’s new government, a second major promise of aid from the Gulf to the cash-strapped country after the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.
AP: The United Arab Emirates says it has pledged $3 billion in grants and loans to Egypt’s new government, in one of the first major promises of aid to the violence-wracked country following the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.
AP: The Obama administration signaled Monday that U.S. national security interests will trump its promotion of Egypt’s budding democracy, stressing the importance of continued aid to the Egyptian military, which overthrew the elected president last week.
Telegraph: A Coptic Christian priest in Egypt’s Northern Sinai has been shot dead, in what could be the first sectarian attack since the military overthrow of Islamist Mohammed Morsi.
Catholic Culture: The head of the Coptic Catholic Church has told the Fides news agency that he welcomes the overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
AP: Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday criticized the Egyptian military’s toppling of the nation’s Islamist president, calling the move improper in its first official reaction.
Rasmussen: The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 73% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the United States should leave the situation in Egypt alone.
Daily Caller: Section 508 of the decades-old Foreign Assistance Act stipulates that “none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by a military coup or decree.”
The Telegraph: Egypt’s Islamists promised to keep up the fight to restore Mohammed Morsi to power and stage an “intifada”, after protests failed to muster the strength to challenge the country’s military leaders.
Reuters: At least 51 people were killed on Monday when demonstrators enraged by the military overthrow of Egypt’s elected Islamist president said the army opened fire during morning prayers outside the Cairo barracks where Mohamed Mursi is believed held.