Saturday, June 04, 2011

Voices from Egypt

While today's first reading brought us the early evangelist, Apollos, from Alexandria, Sr Helena got a message on Facebook from an Egyptian Christian.

I started getting "friend requests" from Egyptian Christians, mostly Coptic Orthodox, a few years ago. Sr Rose e-mailed me, "What's with all the Egyptian friends on Facebook?" My answer was, "If you were a Christian in a country where you're always at some kind of risk for your faith, wouldn't you want to have some sort of connection with the rest of the Christian world?" So now Sr Rose, too, has a good number of Egyptian Facebook friends. Sometimes you will see wall posts in Arabic with a picture of the Virgin Mary. That's from them.

Well, the wall post today was quite different:  

you live singing holy songs and enjoying your lives and Nobody can feel Persecuted Christians in egypt and burnt churches and Kidnapped girls You are in free Land you are Lucky I am Jealous ))))) You havent seen or Lived in a Persecuting Land which Persecutes you Because you are christian or even only you want to Pray.

This message is from a Coptic Orthodox man in his twenties. The icon (left) is his profile picture, representing the persecution of Christians in this country which has had a Christian presence since, well, Apollos. His sister is a nun. On his profile page, he included a news clipping in Arabic:
 واهتمت صحيفة "المصري اليوم" بتغطية وقوع مناوشات كلامية بين أعضاء سلفيين من جبهة الرقابة الثورية ومتظاهرى ميدان التحرير حول من يعتلى منصة الميدان عقب صلاة الجمعة، أمس.
حيث بدأت مجموعة من السلفيين مظاهرة صغيرة لا تتجاوز ٣٠٠ شخص، تندد بوجود السائحين فى الميدان قائلين «السياح كفار»، وتجاوب معهم عدد من الحضور بالقول: «إسلامية إسلامية».
Out of curiosity, I ran the post through Google Translate:
"a verbal skirmish between members of the Salafi group of the Revolutionary Front control and demonstrators Tahrir Square on the platform of ascend the field after Friday prayers yesterday*.
Where a group of Salafis a small demonstration of not more than 300 people, denouncing the presence of tourists in the field, saying, «Kfar tourists», and responded with a number of the audience, saying: «Islamic Islamic». "

Sr Helena responded to the post on her wall, and a conversation started. Here are his posts (in his English):
nothing is helping and christians power became very less than before in the new government nobody can feel us and Nobody can hear us
and the whole middle east is getting Radical Islamic and they want to through out of our Land or to live under horrible religious rules which is not our religion
Pray for us we are suffering church yess we are the church of saint markus which is the first church of alexandria but we are suffering

 *The item was posted eight hours ago.


Anonymous said...

How terrifying. We Christians need to wake up and unite in prayer.

Anonymous said...

Repeat after me "Mary, help of Christians, pray for us"

Anonymous said...

Amen and amen. I will remember them nightly.