Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Who are Egypt's Coptic Christians, and why do extremists target them?

From American Magazine-

They trace their founding to the voyage to Alexandria of St. Mark, the apostle of Jesus and New Testament author. Just a decade or two after the original Easter, which Christians celebrate around the world, tradition states that Mark founded their church, one of the earliest in the Middle East and the first in Africa. It was to become a pillar of early Christendom.

Some two thousand years later, Egypt's Coptic Christians have become the preferred target of the Islamic State group, an apocalyptic cult seeking religious war.

Inside the Arab world's most populous country, IS seeks to sow discord, undermine President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and split the country. It's a strategy the group has used before in Iraq, undermining trust in the government and inciting Shiites against Sunnis to provoke a backlash. That strategy looks unlikely to work in Egypt, where Sunnis vastly outnumber the Coptic minority, who make up some 10 percent of the population of 92 million and who are overwhelmingly dedicated supporters of el-Sissi. But it does whittle away at the Christians' sense of security.

More here-

No comments: