Currents News Staff
It seems things are getting more difficult for Christians in Egypt. They are surrounded by fanatics who consider them second-class citizens. Additionally, the Egyptian Christian community is very old.
One of the areas hardest hit in recent times by sectarian violence is Minya. However, despite fears the persecution has also strengthened the faith of many.
Msgr. Botros Fahid Awad Hanna, the Coptic-Catholic Bishop of Minya, attended the Report on ‘Religious Freedom in the World’ of Aid to the Church in Need. It was held in Rome.
“There are people who are afraid, others who can’t believe it and some who are very angry. However, in most cases, Christians have seen their faith strengthened and there are more people in Mass than before the attacks.” “It is not strange to suffer for faith because Christ told us that whoever wanted to follow Him must deny himself and carry the cross. It is, therefore, a characteristic of our faith,” said he said.
The bishop explained that the difficulties for Christians in Egypt are many, starting with having places for worship.
“To build or repair churches there are always bureaucratic difficulties, we must always wait months or even years. We have to make the processions always inside the church, not outside as here in Europe. I know people who want to convert to Christianity but it is impossible for them, it is forbidden. This is why we often tell them that since it is dangerous for them to make it known publicly, they should believe it in their heart,” he added.
From discrimination to physical attacks to even murder these are some of things Christians have to suffer. All of this is because of an indoctrination that is difficult to stop.
“The problem is to combat the fanatical mentality that has been nurtured in the communities by the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and others. They have contaminated the minds of many people,” he said.
Just days after the latest attack on a pilgrim bus in his diocese, the bishop participated in Venice to attend the lighting up of St. Mark’s Cathedral and its lagoon red. This was done to draw attention to the persecution of Christians around the world.