Egyptian Christians arrested in Libya, besieged in Egypt

Monday, March 04, 2013 |  Ryan Jones

The plight of Egypt's 8-10 million Christians continues to worsen as the Arab Spring-turned-Islamic Revolution continues to bring Sharia Law more into the mainstream across the region.

Over the weekend, Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, director of Voice of the Copts, an organization that seeks to highlight the suffering of Egyptian Christians, reported that 100 Egyptian Christians working in neighboring Libya had been arrested on charges of sharing their faith with local Muslims.

Israel Today interviewed Ramelah in our latest issue, where he explained that such persecution is not unusual, even if it is grossly underreported. ([SUBSCRIBE NOW][1] to read the full interview)

Ramelah explained that the arrests in Libya followed an attack on a Coptic Christian church in that country. Ramelah acknowledged that it is illegal for Christians to openly share their faith in Libya, but maintained that evidence that these 100 detainees had done so was spurious.

What is more likely, suggested Ramelah, is that Libyan Muslims are following up their church attack by trying to fully eliminate the presence of Christians in their area.

Now more than a week in captivity, Ramelah is unsurprised that the Egyptian regime has done nothing to free these Christians, though he hopes the international community will live up to its claims of justice.

"Silence from Egyptian authorities regarding this incident is only expected since its Islamist government is known to degrade minorities inside Egypt," wrote Ramelah. "Voice of the Copts requests western leaders and human rights organizations around the world to intervene to ascertain fair hearings for the Egyptians as soon as possible."

Backing up Ramelah's charges of mistreatment, news broke on Sunday that hundreds of Muslims had besieged a church in southern Egypt after being told that a local Muslim woman had converted to Christianity and was holed up inside.

Muslim rioters stormed the Coptic church in Kom Ombo and injured 12 Christians and 11 police officers sent to intervene.

Egyptian officials were only able to calm the situation after announcing that the woman had been found elsewhere, and that she in fact had not converted to Christianity.

Whether that is true or not remains unknown, but the impunity with which local Muslims accused and carried out their own brand of justice against their Christian neighbors attests to the very real danger under which Egypt's Christians currently live.

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