Wednesday, August 21, 2013

One Body

One of the most underreported and unappreciated stories of our time is the regular and persistent persecution of Christians in many parts of the world. The recent upheaval in Egypt is just the latest example of Christians (and their churches, schools, monasteries, etc.) being targeted for violence for no other reason than their faith. While most of the media attention has been focused on the protests and crackdown against them in Cairo, Christians across Egypt have been under attack. Here is a list that was posted on August 19th of churches and other buildings that have been attacked:

The following list of 58 looted and burned buildings (including convents and schools) has been verified by representatives of the Christian Churches.

At least 58 Christian churches, schools, institutions, homes and shops have been attacked, looted and torched over the last three days by the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Mohamed Morsi, the former Egyptian president who was deposed on 3 July . On August 14 the army has tried to evict the sit-in of the Islamists in Rabaa El Nahda Square and Adaweya. In a wave of devastating violence, over 600 people were killed and thousands injured. But violent attacks were also carried out on Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical churches as well as the homes and shops of Christians, as we have documented

The representatives of the Christian Churches have drawn up a list which we publish below. The list was handed over to AsiaNews by the Press Office of the Catholic Church in Egypt.

Catholic churches and convents

1. Franciscan church and school (road 23) - burned (Suez)
2. Monastery of the Holy Shepherd and hospital - burned (Suez)
3. Church of the Good Shepherd, Monastery of the Good Shepherd - burned in molotov attack (Asuit)
4. Coptic Catholic Church of St. George - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
5. Church of the Jesuits - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
6. Fatima Basilica - attacked - Heliopolis
7. Coptic Catholic Church of St. Mark - burned (Minya - Upper Egypt)
8. Franciscan convent (Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) - burned (Beni Suef, Upper Egypt)
9. Church of St. Teresa - burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
10. Franciscan Church and School - burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
11. Convent of St Joseph and school - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
12. Coptic Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart - torched (Minya, Upper Egypt)
13. Convent of the Sisters of Saint Mary - attacked (Cairo)
14. School of the Holy Shepherd - attacked (Minya, Upper Egypt)

Orthodox and Evangelical Churches

1. Anglican Church of St. Saviour - burned (Suez)
2. Evangelical Church of St Michael - surrounded and sacked (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
3. Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George - Burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
4. Church of Al-Esla - burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
5. Adventist Church - burned, the pastor and his wife abducted (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
6. Church of the Apostles - burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
7. Church of the Holy renewal - burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
8. Diocesan Centre Coptic Orthodox Qusiya - burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
9. Church of St. George - burned (Arish, North Egypt)
10. Church of St. George in al-Wasta - burned (Beni Suef, Upper Egypt)
11. Church of the Virgin Mary - attacked (Maadi, Cairo)
12. Church of the Virgin Mary - attacked (Mostorod, Cairo)
13. Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George - attacked (Helwan, Cairo)
14. Church of St. Mary of El Naziah - burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
15. Church of Santa Damiana - sacked and burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
16. Church of St. Theodore - burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
17. Evangelical Church of al-Zorby - Sacked and destroyed (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
18. Church of St. Joseph - burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
19. Franciscan School - burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
20. Coptic Orthodox Diocesan Center of St. Paul - burned (Gharbiya, Delta)
21. Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Anthony - burned (Giza)
22. Coptic Church of St. George - burned (Atfeeh, Giza)
23. Church of the Virgin Mary and father Abraham - burned (Delga, Deir Mawas, Minya, Upper Egypt)
24. Church of St. Mina Abu Hilal Kebly - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
25. Baptist Church in Beni Mazar - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
26. Church of Amir Tawadros - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
27. Evangelical Church - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
28. Church of Anba Moussa al-Aswad- burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
29. Church of the Apostles - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
30. Church of St Mary - arson attempt (Qena, Upper Egypt)
31. Coptic Church of St. George - burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)
32. Church of Santa Damiana - Attacked and burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)
33. Church of the Virgin Mary - burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)
34. Church of St. Mark and community center - burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)
35. Church of Anba Abram - destroyed and burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)

Christian institutions

1. House of Fr. Angelos (pastor of the church of the Virgin Mary and Father Abraham) - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
2. Properties and shops of Christians - Burnt (Arish, North Egypt)
3. 17 Christian homes attacked and looted (Minya, Upper Egypt)
4. Christian homes - Attach (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
5. Offices of the Evangelical Foundation - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
6. Stores, pharmacies, hotels owned by Christians - attacked and looted (Luxor, Upper Egypt)
7. Library of the Bible Society - burned (Cairo)
8. Bible Society - burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
9. Bible Society- burned (Asuit, North Egypt).

The third Catholic church listed here caught my eye as it shares the same name as the church we attend. It’s become all too easy to ignore the persecution of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. One would hope that the situation in Egypt brings attention to this in a way that forces us to pay attention. One would also hope that Christian churches in the West, especially the United States, use this as an opportunity to open the eyes of their congregations to the plight those suffering for their faith and offer them our prayers and support.