The Copts in Egypt: A Diabolical Trap

Source: FSSPX News

Families pray in the cathedral of Abu Garnous, in the city Maghagha, Egypt, after the last bloody attack on May 26, 2017.

The Christians of Egypt have again been targeted by a bloody attack. On Friday, May 26, 2017, armed men attacked a bus full of pilgrims. The result: almost thirty dead, including many children. Here is an analysis of a strategy that makes the Copts of Egypt the number one target of the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the attack.

In an article published in Le Figaro, Marc Fromager, the director of Help to the Church in Need, explains that the goal of these repeated attacks on Christians is first and foremost to take over and recreate a caliphate.

The caliphate is a spiritual and temporal institution  whose roots go back to the very foundation of Islam, organizing the Muslim community for almost thirteen centuries. The caliph is the successor of the Prophet, the “successor of the Messenger of God”. He is a symbol of the unity – political and religious, for the two go together – of the community of believers called the “Ummah”.

A caliphate, points out Marc Fromager, because it draws from the source of Muslim fundamentalism, necessarily involves “a certain homogenization of the population”, which “boils down to the conversion or exclusion of religious minorities,” Christians being first on the list.

In addition, after Iraq and Syria, where the Christian presence has been greatly diminished, bringing terror into Egypt is a way “of bridging the gap between the Middle East and Africa, either through Libya – and our destruction of the country was quite helpful to them – or through the Sahel-Saharan band. Now Egypt is the one obstacle to this junction for now.” By destabilizing Egypt, the Islamists are expanding the territory of their war against the Western and Christian world.

For Egypt is the country with the strongest Christian presence in the Middle East. Most Christians are Coptic and represent 14 million people which is about 15% of the population, a number the government is constantly trying to minimize – claiming they are no more than 2 or 3% - in order to keep the Christians from aspiring to representation in the public sphere. Thus, 90% of Eastern Christians are Egyptian; and that is why they are the primary target for Islamist fighters, whether they are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State, or other armed groups.

The strategy of harassing the Copts involves the known attacks which, on the one hand, maintain organized terror with a message of apostasy or exile; on the other hand, they also goad Christians to react in order to “trigger a downward spiral of violence in which they will obviously be the losers,” explains Marc Fromager. “If the exasperated Christians end up revolting against the Egyptian authorities, the Islamic State will have killed two birds with one stone: to weaken the Egyptian government whose power it wishes to take over, and it will have accelerated the disappearance of the Christians whose reaction will have caused more violence against them.”

In this precise context, it is easier to understand the insistence of Pope Francis who – in two speeches delivered on April 28 in Cairo, during his trip to Egypt – exhorted them to fight against “all forms of violence, vengeance, and hatred committed in the name of religion or in the name of God”. For his part, Fr. Rafic Greiche, a Greek Catholic priest and spokesman for the Coptic Catholic Church, declared to the press agency Fides: “The terrorists seek to divide the Egyptian population by sowing discord between Christians and Muslims. So far they have not succeeded and the population is even more united in their rejection of violence.”

To sum up the strategy of Allah’s madmen: “The terrorists’ long-term goal is to expel Christians from Egypt, as they did in Iraq where, as soon as the so-called ‘Islamic State’ took Mosul, the first thing they did was drive out all the Christians. The same phenomenon occurred in Syria, in Sudan, and now, they are trying to reproduce it in Egypt, the country with the largest Christian community in the MiddleEast and the largest Muslim community in the Arab world.”

In what looks to human eyes like a bloody impasse, we have to hope that this “Church of the Martyrs” – as the Coptic community of Egypt likes to call themselves – will draw from this trial the grace to confess the True Faith. The first victims were buried on the evening of the terrible attack. The coffins, surrounded by a forest of long wooden crosses, were accompanied to their resting place by the lamentations of the crowd: “By our soul, by our blood, we sacrifice ourselves for the Cross”.

Sources: Vatican Radio/ Le Figaro / / La Croix / Fides – FSSPX. News 5/31/17