Egyptian Coptic Diaspora in Canada expresses solidarity with Copts in Egypt

TORONTO: October 15, 2011. (PCP) Canada’s Egyptian churches are standing in solidarity with Egyptian Christians, following brutal attacks on Sunday which left 28 people dead and an additional 213 people Injured. The Coptic Orthodox Church has called for three days of fasting and prayer from all its adherents, set to begin on Tuesday. Toronto Coptic Christians will be participating in the fast, in the hopes of eliminating persecution of Egyptian Christians. “Although we are all shocked/disgusted at the violence used on the demonstrators, our reaction must be peaceful. Christianity is not about revenge, so we will fast so that God can take of his people.” Said Hany Thawfilis (Christian Egyptian and member of the Coptic Christian Church) A group of 1,000 demonstrators gathered in downtown Cairo to stage a sit-in outside the state broadcaster’s building when the military fired live ammunition at the crowd. The army also drove an armored tank through the crowd, crushing the bodies of many demonstrators and leading to the critical injuries of others. The demonstrators were demanding equality and protection of Coptic Christian places of worship, in light of a church burning that happened last week in southern Egypt. The Egyptian army claims that demonstrators began shooting and attacking military officers. However, eye witnesses and media representatives confirmed that the Christian demonstrators did not attack the army. Egypt’s state broadcaster and the Egyptian Information Minister claimed that Christian demonstrators attacked the army and called civilians to the scene of the demonstrations to support the army. This call led the public to in incite violence against Coptic people across the country. “The Egyptian media has been disseminating propaganda to Egyptian citizens, which has only contributed to the violence towards Christians,” says Father Angelos of St.Virgin Mary Coptic Church in Mississauga. Although Egypt’s Christian population routinely experiences systemic discrimination, an attack of this level is unprecedented. Coptic Egyptians are the largest Christian community in the Middle East, comprising of 12 per cent of Egypt’s population (87 Millions).

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