U.S. Copts Association
Web site: www.copts.com
Alexandria, Egypt (10/21/05)—Over 10,000 Egyptian Muslim protestors and Egyptian police on Friday, October 21, 2005 surrounded the Mari Girgis (St. George) Coptic Orthodox Church in Muharram Bey street, Alexandria. The violent protestors were incited by October media reports alleging a church play ad “offended Islam.”
According to reports from U.S. Copts informants at the St. George Church, since 12:00 PM CMT over 10,000 Muslim protestors have flooded the streets outside the building, trapping inside the church three priests and 70-100 Coptic youth. The protestors, armed with Molotov cocktails and other weapons, brandished copies of the Qur’an and demanded that St. George priest Father Antonious convert to Islam.
Officials deployed approximately 1,000 soldiers from the Egyptian army and seventy armored vehicles to help subdue the mob. Soldiers released tear gas and fired live bullets to disperse the thousands chanting in the streets.
Friday’s protests come after initial street protests one week earlier and the Wednesday stabbing of a Coptic nun by a Muslim student.
Protestors were responding to several inflammatory newspaper editorials alleging the St. George church had produced a stage play that allegedly “insulted Islam and the Qur’an.” The production to which the articles referred was a church play which was staged once over two years earlier in 2003 for St. George’s parishioners, referred to the modern political problem of Islamic extremism, and referenced neither the Qur’an nor Islamic theology.
Copts, the indigenous Christians of Egypt, number approximately 15 million people and constitute between 12-15% of the Egyptian population.Pictures of the protest can be viewed at www.copts.net
Just a little taste of what western Europe has to look forward to in about 30 years or so. Just picture the same scene around Notre Dame Cathedral or Westminster Abbey. Unless there is a massive Christian revival in Europe, that day is soon coming...