Coptic Christians Ask America To Withhold
Funding From Egypt
By BRADLEY HOPE Staff Reporter of the Sun
25 April 2006
Several hundred of
the area's Coptic Christians yesterday called on the American government to
withhold funding from Egypt
until President Mubarak agrees to make a serious effort to protect the rights
many of whom wore T-shirts bearing the message "Stop Killing Christians In Egypt" written on the front, said persecution in Egypt had
escalated in recent years. Christians have been raped, killed, and
discriminated against without the perpetrators being brought to justice, the
president of the International Christian Union, Monir
"We don't want
our tax money going to kill our people in Egypt," he said.
gave $1.87 billion in foreign aid to Egypt
in fiscal year 2004, ranking third on the list after Iraq
according to State Department figures.
The editor of the
weekly Coptic newspaper Watani International, Magdi Khalil, said that since
President Mubarak took office in 1981, after Anwar
Sadat was assassinated, there have been 55 major attacks on Coptic Christians
police even participate," he said. "We need George Bush to announce
'Stop killing Christians in the Middle East. Equality for Christians in the Middle East.'"
A member of the
International Christian Union, Rania Hanna, said she
was granted asylum in America
after someone threw acid on her because her face and body were not covered
according to Muslim law. She told stories of young girls being kidnapped and
raped because they were Christian.
"You cannot walk
free as a female in Egypt,"
Protesters, who gathered
in front of the Isaiah Wall at 43rd
Street, also called on the secretary-general of
the United Nations, Kofi Annan,
to condemn the persecution of Christians in Egypt and to take action to restore
The march was
organized in the wake of recent attacks on four Coptic churches in Egypt on Good
Friday. One Christian worshipper was stabbed to death during the attacks, which
the government labeled the work of a single, deranged man. Ms. Hanna said the
government has used similar "excuses" in the past to make attacks
appear to be isolated incidents.
About 15 million
Christians live in Egypt,
making up 10% of the population. Christians occupy no policy-making positions,
Mr. Dawoud said.
"We'd like the
money the government gives to be a seed of democracy, not of persecution,"
a vice president of the International Christian Union, Joseph Hakim, said.
For a complete
article, go to http://www.nysun.com/article/31542