Switzerland: Two witnesses to the persecution against the Christians in Egypt and Iraq

Source: FSSPX News

Amgad Rekz, an Orthodox Coptic deacon, took refuge with his wife in Switzerland in 2004, and testified on February 20 in the Cathedral of St. Nicolas of Fribourg that the Egyptian revolution frightens the Christians, for it could lead the Muslim Brothers to power.  “Moubarak kept the Islamists in a corner, to neutralize them, even if, in his relations with the Occident, he made use of the terrorist threat to justify his holding the power.  Now that he is gone, there is still less security for the Christians.”

Indeed, the Egyptian Procurer General has opened an investigation against Habib el-Adly, former Minister of the Interior.  This latter is suspected of having instigated an attack on a Coptic church in Alexandria on New Year's Eve that caused 24 deaths, indicated the Society for Threatened Peoples (SPM) on February 15 in Göttingen, making reference to information given by the TV channel Al Arabiya.  British diplomats and collaborators from the secret service relate that el-Aldy seems himself to played the role of the terrorist commando, in order to present, after the attack, President Hosni Moubarak's government as a shield for Islam.  Eye-witnesses of the bloodbath voiced their astonishment to the SPM on seeing that, in spite of the real threat, almost all the security forces withdrew right before the attack on the church, in which were assembled 2,000 people.

The Egyptian Minister of the Interior gave several different versions of the event before accusing the foreign terrorists of Al-Qaida.  For Cairo, the attack had been planned by the “Army of Islam”, established in the Gaza Strip.  This latter has however always denied any involvement in the attack.

A student of theology at the University of Fribourg, the Chaldean priest Astefan Mazin of the region of Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan, not far from the Turkish frontier, also spoke in the Cathedral of Fribourg.  “Victims of bloody attacks in Bagdad and Mossoul, the Iraqi Christians are coming to miss the days of the dictator Saddam Hussein,” he laments; “at that time, as long as we did not speak out against Saddam, we were kings!”  Ever since the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, more than a two thirds of the Christians have left the country.  “We are now only 400,000 in the country.  The Christians have fled from Basra, where there remain but a few families, and the situation in Mossoul is dramatic for them...”  The Chaldean priest admits that many Iraqi Christians from Bagdad or Mossoul who have sought refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan have there found physical security.  “But they have no jobs, and renting a house is out of the question!  In the villages that have been rehabilitated, there is no infrastructure, the Christians coming from the cities cannot stay there: it is another culture, another mentality, and what is more, to live in Kurdistan, one must speak Kurdish!  The only solution that seems viable for them is to try to leave the country, to go to Turkey or Syria, to try to get a visa for Australia or Canada.”

“We must help the Christians to stay where they are, so that they can work and live in safety, for we feel more and more that we are strangers in our own country!”  The priest hopes that more and more political steps will be taken, by the Swiss government as well, to protect the Christians of the Middle East, before they all disappear from the lands that saw the birth of Christianity.  (Sources: apic/kna – DICI#231, March 5, 2011)

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