Coptic Churches around the country expect an influx of Egyptian Muslims to share with the country’s Christians their Christmas Eve mass Nourhan El-Abbassy, Thursday 6 Jan 2011


“Although 2011 started tragically, I feel it will be a year of eagerly anticipated change, where Egyptians will stand against sectarianism and unite as one,” Father Rafaeil Sarwat of the Mar-Mina church told Ahram Online. The Coptic priest was commenting on the now widespread call by Muslim intellectuals and activists upon Egyptian Muslims at large to flock to Coptic churches across the country to attend Coptic Christmas Eve mass, to show solidarity with the nation’s Coptic minority, but also to serve as “human shields” against possible attacks by Islamist militants.

Mohamed Abdel Moniem El-Sawy, founder of El-Sawy Culture Wheel was among the promiment Muslim cultural figures who first floated the bold initiative.

“This is it. It is time to change and unite,” asserted journalist Ekram Youssef, another notable sponsor of the intiative, in a telephone interview with Ahram Online. She added that although it is the government’s responsibility to act and find solutions to bring an end to such violations, “it is time for Egyptian citizens to act to revive the true meaning of national unity.”

Following last year’s Coptic Christmas Eve attack on congregants as they left their church in the Upper Egyptian city of Naga Hamady, Youssef created the crescent and cross logo with the slogan “A nation for all” – that was adopted during the past couple of days by many of Egypt’s 4 million Facebook users as their profile picture.
Mariam Yassin, a 24 year old video editor, will take Thursday off to travel to Alexandria to attend the mass at the Two Saints Church. “I am not going as a representative of any religion. I am supporting all those who died as a result of ignorance.”

Yassin’s friend, Mariam Fekry, was killed along with her mother, sister and aunt in the Two Saints Church attack

“I feel great sympathy for her family’s loss, yet I don’t feel that as a Muslim I should apologize on the behalf of murderers.” Yassin added.

On the other hand, Fatima Mostafa, a 40 year old house wife, will join Copts tomorrow to show that Muslims feel their sorrow. “I want to show the world that Islam is a religion of peace and that such attacks are nothing more than a result of poverty, ignorance and oppression.”

While the reasons they cite for doing so may vary, many Egyptian Muslims are rallying around the idea of acting to protect their fellow citizens.

“I know it might not be safe, yet it’s either we live together, or we die together, we are all Egyptians,” Cherine Mohamed, a 50 year old house wife said.

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18 Responses to Coptic Churches around the country expect an influx of Egyptian Muslims to share with the country’s Christians their Christmas Eve mass Nourhan El-Abbassy, Thursday 6 Jan 2011

  1. geologywoman says:

    I strongly abhor religious war. Foolishness. Thank you for posting this…”yet it’s either we live together, or we die together, we are all Egyptians”. Well put.

  2. I was moved by the courage and compassion shown by the Muslim Egyptians who attended the Coptic Christmas Eve mass. Good people do outnumber the bad, and when asked, the former will come out to be their best.

  3. [TIG]
    And oh, how I hope they will live (not die) together in doing this.

  4. Lauri says:

    The sad thing is that terrorists don’t care if they kill Coptics AND Muslims. They just want to kill.
    But this article did make me very proud of those who partcipated!

  5. snoringKatZ says:

    That is awesome. What wonderful people to stand together. I hope they appreciate each other more fully and recognize that people are just people. Except for the evil ones – they’re scumbuckets.

  6. Lauri says:

    This is the kind of news that should be shared a LOT more!

  7. Lurkertype says:

    That’s nice to hear. I saw on the local news last night that they increased security at the Coptic church nearest me b/c of this for last night’s midnight mass. If they didn’t recognize you, they were asking for ID.

  8. pyrit says:

    I had to look up “Coptic”. I thought I knew stuff!

  9. Kzinti says:

    How about we take it to the next level? We are all humans…

  10. Aussie Emjay says:

    I still have faith that good people will triumph over the bad…….

    • Lauri says:

      I think that’s why we need to hear more news like this. People would have more hope if they knew the courageous incredible people that are out there. Who knows, maybe even some suicide bombers would realize they don’t have to die and kill others for some crazy “leader” of theirs.

      I am in awe of some of the brave peaceful people working for humanity.

  11. e2thec says:

    I have some Egyptian friends… Muslim, but raised with both Coptic Christians as well as Jewish people. (Prior to a lot of the Egyptian Jewish community’s emigration to Israel, the US, and other countries.)

    Not that long ago, these attacks would never have happened. According to my friends, Egypt has changed almost beyond recognition… and the government allows militant and terrorist groups to exist rather than cracking down, because if they did, then people might start complaining about the oppressive regime governing them, and…

    It’s evil – logical, but no less evil for all that.

    • Lauri says:

      Well, hopefully actions like the article above will make some of the government rethink their policies.

      I imagine there are some terrorist/extremist groups giving members of the government large amounts of money. That would limit the amount of “cracking down” going on. Pooh!

  12. LBeeeze says:

    Humans have the wonderful ability to believe that things will be better even when things have been anything but.

  13. Snowy says:

    How good is that, Lauri. Maybe the freaks might just get the message that what unites us is far greater than that which divides us. If more good people stood up for what is right, then we may just get there.

  14. Jaypo says:

    The Coptic Christian church was established within the first hundred years after the crucifixion, some of the truest practitioners in the world. And Islam IS a religion of peace, subjected to the same selfish interpretations as Christianity. The world will never be “one” until people starte acting like it. What a wondlerful story!!

    • e2thec says:

      Excellent points and info. j! I think you’re entirely right about “the same selfish interpretations…”

      I could say more about religions that are supposed to be peaceful having had a violent face (all too many times, in Europe, mainly), but I don’t think Lauri needs a ranty comment here.

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