Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection
Firefighters extinguish a blaze at a church following clashes between Muslims and Christians in Cairo, Egypt on May 8, 2011.
May 8th, 2011
01:18 PM ET

Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection

From Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Ian Lee, For CNN

Cairo (CNN) - Muslim-Christian sectarian violence intensified in Egypt this weekend, spurring an emergency meeting of the Cabinet and public exhortations from Coptic Christians for international protection.

At least 12 people were killed and 232 others were wounded in sectarian clashes outside a Cairo church, according to state TV. Officials said violence began over rumors that a Christian woman who converted to Islam was being held at the church against her will.

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf postponed a trip to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to discuss the church attack and hold the emergency meeting, according to EgyNews, Egypt's official news agency.

A small group of Coptic Christians gathering near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Sunday called for international protection of Egypt's Christian community and condemned the government for not doing more to protect them.

Read the full story of the clash here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Christianity • Coptic • Egypt • Islam • Violence

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Lucy

    Shame on CNN TV and other TV Media,
    You must pay attention and cover all the suffering of Christians in Egypt and elsewhere in the Islamic countries. If the Media do not take a stand today and expose the Islamic movement’s actions around the world, the free western world will be the next one targeted..

    May 19, 2011 at 2:48 am |
  2. What about

    I just do not get it. Scientist are going about trying to find out the origins of this planet and all that is seen in it and on it, not to mention what cannot be seen with the naked eye. I SAY THIS.... Science is the study of what GOD, that intelligent creator, what has been already created. Scientist understand that some intelligent force created our planet and beyond its borders. They already know the other theories do not hold a candle to how intelligent this force is to have designed and create a world that is so unbelievably insync, intricate, and to boot, it is still being created. YOu see, creation is all around you and the force in which it continues to perpetuate itself is not dead either. This has got to be the most incredible truth in existence today. Einstein a great man said and I paraphrase, you can live two ways, as if there are no miracles or if everyday is a miracle. I choose the latter.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  3. Ramez

    Why is this not breaking news for CNN ? ... do you know how many coptic churches or churches in iraq were burned down this year alone ? Why is CNN so against Christians and always seem to defend muslims ? If one synagogue was to burned down by muslim CNN would be all over it. But hundred of churches are being destroyed every year by MUSLIMS and CNN SAYS NOTHING but put half a page article. CNN=RACIST. and Islam = HELL

    May 10, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  4. vince

    The thing that bothers me the most is that Christians were there first before the Islamic conquests - Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and now, even though minority communities are still being victimized by the majority muslim citizens in their respective countries. So much so, that many, especially Iraqi's and Arab Christians, are moving to the US and Europe to a more safe and tolerant religious environment - to get away from Islam. But guess what, migration from Islamic countries is picking up in Europe and the US and more and more mosques are popping up all over the place. In a real and dynamic way, muslims are taking advantage of the traditionally Judeo/Christian countries who promote secularism and tolerance of religion to grow - whereas there's no reciprocation in these formerly Christian-majority countries in the mideast - and it's a real issue that's only going to get worse.. If you try to build a church in Egypt it takes an act of God to get permits and approval. This is not right and not fair.

    May 9, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  5. jofro

    Sorry to tell you that Jesus is just a fairy tale .he was never real. scripture

    Totally Leonard. Why don't intellgent people realise that historical people are all made up? Next they'll tell yah that people like Socrates, Plato and the Buddha existed. What noobs!

    May 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Granite Boulder

      Plato and Socrates have numerous contemporary witnesses who left evidence that supports their existence. No contemporary record of Jesus exists. The first came decades later, and none seem to have been written by people who knew or ever even saw him. Jesus might have existed, but there is no contemporary historical evidence that he did, so the question is valid. The proof is much stronger for Socrates and Plato.

      May 9, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  6. jofro


    @Adelina it might help if you get your facts straight before forming an opinion. 809 million people have been killed because of religion. That is almost a billion people! Duh...

    809 million? killed in the name of religion? Wow...well since we are going to make up numbers, I'd like to try out too – 100 billion killed due to kooky atheists, socialists, nationalists, darwinists and communists..wow I feel so totally intelligent now because I could think of a big number 🙂

    May 9, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  7. John Richardson

    So, was the woman held against her will or not? Makes a rather big difference in how to interpret all of this.

    May 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Also, whether there was any women held at all.

      May 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  8. READ and THINK

    “Sometimes I think: How much better our world would be if all of us — Muslim as well as non-Muslim — focused a little bit less on what Muslims do and a little bit more on what Islam really is!” (Dr. Pasha)


    May 9, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  9. Doc Vestibule

    While tragic, this is certainly nothing new
    Muslims and Christians have been at each other's throats for nigh on 1500 years.
    Same with Muslims and Jews.
    Jews and Christians.
    Christian versus Christian
    Muslim against Muslim.

    I've still yet to hear of violent strife between Humanists and Naturalists...

    May 9, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • gametime

      There is strife between you and the living God of the Bible. Get right with him today and receive the gift of salvation offered by Jesus Christ.

      May 9, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      So which of the thousands of denominations of Christianity is the right one?
      According to most, if I choose wrong I'll suffer an eternity of torment so it would be very helpful to know the precise dogma to which I must adhere.

      May 9, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • jsaiditfirst


      I was very fortunate as a child, growing up with a father who provided for me, cared for me and loved me as much as i loved him. I can't remember ever Not being with him, and in that regard he taught me everything i needed to know to be the reasonably intelligent, caring and self sufficiant person that i became.

      And like my father before me i've had the pleasure of experiencing that same instantaneous bond of love which occurrs when are children are born. Not one of my four children ever failed to hang on my every word of praise towards them, or my explanation about the world around them. And i had that familier gimp about me as i tried to walk here or there with at least one, and quite often times two small arms wrapped around and clinging to my legs as we went places. I felt proud to be a father.

      Its ironic that some people in the world might attest our existance to some evolutionary chance, and associate who we are, as humans, to some simple minded monkey swinging from tree to tree, all the while ignoring the obvious signs of our grand creation by a loving father who created us in his image. (Gen 1:26) Because isn't true that good parents want the best for, and strive to pass down their greatest attributes to their offspring as a means of continueing a legacy?

      I truly believe that on a grandure scale, Jesus, whom God called his "master worker" shared, and continues to share with his father that same sense of dependence. That he still looks to his father for the affection of love that he has come to rely, and continues to seek his fathers loving guidence and approval just as any child hopes to recieve from their parent, and becuse of that he will always be the child, and not the equal. (i can never be greater than my father)

      But even more satisfying, is the knowledge that there existed between God and his son, a real relationship, a deep rooted love between a father and his son, which is eloquently described for us:
      then I came to be beside him as a master worker, and I came to be the one he was specially fond of day by day, I being glad before him all the time" (Pro 8:30)

      Jesus love was extended in two directions, firstly towards glorifying and sanctifying his fathers good name which has been subjected to slander, and then towards man, whom Jesus lovingly regarded in this way:
      "And the things I was fond of were with the sons of men". (Pro 8:31)

      Having watched satan at work in undoing all that his father had done, he came to this world, out of a love for his fathers honor and a desire and love for us, to undo the error, and set matters straight. Not even the apostles of that day grasped the enormity of his work and the purpose with which he came when he explained to them:
      "No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends" (John 15:13).

      So, how does one sort through all the convoluted dogma that is so prevalent among the churches of the world today. How can we be certian that what we're being told or taught, is really the truth? Well, the bible really does give wise counsel in sorting through the (quagmire) of false teaching and false hopes through simple clarification of what to look for. Example: When we see an impy child whom we know comes from an impy parent don't we always think that the apple doesn't fall far from thr tree? Jesus used that same state of mind in the illistration:
      "By their fruits YOU will recognize them". (Matthew 7:16) (because we know that something good never comes from something bad)

      The faith your seeking, the whole world is seeking (but rarely seems to find) is found in people that adhere to commandments such as: "and you must love your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30)

      Jesus went further, by saying that "upon these two commandments, the laws and the prophets hang". And its his conclusion at Mark 12:30 that implies to us the importance of the commandment itself. A true religion, a religion where the apple that falls from the tree is not full of worms and maggots, but possesses all the qualities of the good tree that it fail from will display a full sense of adherance to Gods law by loving him with every fiber of our being, and by loving our neighbor. And the act of loving our neighbor as ourself simply imployes not killing anyone for any reason simply because our flag tells us too.

      Any faith that serves both its flock and the state, serves two masters by. There is no room for glorifying both war, and God.

      Like Fox Mauder of the "X-Files" said: the truth is out there!

      May 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "Its ironic that some people in the world might attest our existance to some evolutionary chance, and associate who we are, as humans, to some simple minded monkey swinging from tree to tree, all the while ignoring the obvious signs of our grand creation by a loving father who created us in his image. "
      I'm not sure what you are referring to but decades of research and thousands of fossils are not "some evolutionary chance"; A book of indeterminate authorship is not an "obvious sign."

      "Because isn't true that good parents want the best for, and strive to pass down their greatest attributes to their offspring as a means of continueing a legacy?"
      Apparently, not. (Gen 3:22)

      May 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  10. Dmitri P

    If they do not want Christians in their country they should evict them instead of attacking them. Using violence only shows that you have no self-control.

    May 9, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • jofro

      That's like Americans evicting American Natives out of America – Copts are the natives of Egypt. You cannot evict them out

      May 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Dmitri P

      Whatever. The thing is this: To evict regardless of your silly analogy would mean an immediate solution that kills or injures no one other than the expected upsets inherent in forcibly ejecting people from where they have lived all their lives.
      Would you rather the minority be wiped out? Murdered one and all?
      I, at least, have a solution that would actually work and could be implemented immediately. What have you got? More analogies that break down after a step or two? Try separating these prone-to-violence peoples.
      There is nothing more ludicrous than a bunch of idiots who see only violence as the only option.
      When you hit someone, why do you do it? What did you think you were going to accomplish and what is your explanation for why your expectations did not happen?

      May 10, 2011 at 12:38 am |
  11. sadiesadie

    Okay you all are disgusting. Taking this opportunity to again voice your hatred of religion and totally glossing over the fact that people died and were injured in this incident. Just another case of Christians being attacked by muslims and the whole world ignoring it. I really pray that these people are helped and protected before we hear that they have all been locked in their church and burned alive as has happened before.

    May 9, 2011 at 8:05 am |
    • Commander554

      Sadie, hate to break it to you, but you just did. Violence is Violence. As much as we hate it, it wont stop.

      May 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  12. AtheistSteve

    So a christian woman falls in love with a musim man and instead of this becoming an example of love and tolerance between faiths we end up with a bloody religious war. This is just another demonstration of the divisive nature of religious beliefs. A perpetual us versus them at.itude inherent in the very teachings they espouse. Believe as we do or perish...now or forever after. A secular union by comparison suffers none of these types of prejudice. Humanist philosophy doesn't play favorites with race, religion or se.xual preference and thus proves it's moral superiority. Let the selfrighteous, sanctimonious zealots butcher each other for all I care. The world is a better place without them.

    May 9, 2011 at 7:47 am |
    • Adelina

      Steve, the problem here is that no one investigated the real facts legally but just went on for violence. Atheists butchered incomparable number of humans, mostly religious people. And secularists and humanists destroyed incomparable number of smallest humans. You always make Christians busy.

      May 9, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • YaThink

      @Adelina it might help if you get your facts straight before forming an opinion. 809 million people have been killed because of religion. That is almost a billion people! Duh...

      May 9, 2011 at 8:29 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      @Adelina...once again you demonstrate your ignorance of the facts. Atheism is not and has never been the cause of the deaths you refer to. Not believing in gods also means we don't have divine directives on how to behave to one another. The perversion of ideas proposed by Nietzsche, eugenics and the socialist views of Marxism, Stalinism and Maoism were the cause...not atheism. Correlation does not equate to causation. It is inconceivable that secular humanism could ever lead to the past atrocities you speak of.

      May 9, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • Nonimus

      "This is just another demonstration of the divisive nature of religious beliefs. A perpetual us versus them at.itude.... The world is a better place without them."

      May 9, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Adelina

      Unlike atheism, religion(Christianity) rescued 7 billion humans. Crime against humanity is norm to atheists whereas it would be an abuse of a name to the religious. A foundational difference.

      May 10, 2011 at 4:28 am |
  13. Reality

    And all of this because some mythical angel talked to an hallucinating madman 1400 years ago. How long are Muslims going to stay in the superst-itions of the dark ages?

    May 8, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • leonard

      a very long time. it is sad that this violet and primitive faith is still practiced

      May 9, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  14. mohamed

    you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion

    May 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  15. ruff ruff

    And by the way i am sharia law. Let no man decieve u. JESUS is ur Lord and saviour. If u c him tell him im still lukn 4 him. .

    May 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • leonard

      Sorry to tell you that Jesus is just a fairy tale .he was never real. scripture

      May 9, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  16. ruff ruff

    0bama dont know wat he suports because i havnt told him yet. R0tf ruf ruf mfr

    May 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  17. Keith

    So many people on this site rush to defend islam. Well, this is another example of tolerance from the religion of peace. If they're ever allowed to bring thier sharia law to America, they won't tolerate you for very long either. Is this what Obama supported with the ouster of Mubarack? These peaceful muslims are marching in front of the Israeli embassy demanding that the peace treaty with Israel be dissolved. Oh joy! Let's see where else the Muslim Brotherhood wants to rebel next.

    May 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • leonard

      there is no chance of shira law ever coming to America. ZERO

      May 9, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • Billy Ray, the Hand of God

      Leonard, if Keith wants to have a nice little sharia hissy-fit like Rush wants him to, then it is his right as an American and his duty as a Christian and a conservative. Don't go around spoiling the party by being an atheist anti-Christ commie libtard tree-hugging gay-hugging realist.

      You evil atheists, you are the Devil's pimps. All that logic and evidence and reason stuff, all that thinking you do, those are tools of the Devil. The bible does not say "Thou shalt think coherently," it says "believe in the Lord." The ONLY reason you have lower crime rates and higher rates of education is because Satan is trying to sow confusion amongst the true believers by having the bad people be more good than the good people. That Satan is a crafty one.

      May 9, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • Keith

      billy ray,, I have NO use for Rush, none. He's garbage. You may not be such a smart a$$ when you see mushroom clouds around Israel.

      May 9, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Nonimus

      "If they're ever allowed to bring thier sharia law to America"

      This stuff is ridiculous. For Sharia law to have any force within the general public (private contracts are just that, private, and can contain anything the parties want, within reason) someone would have to gut so much of the Consti.tution and existing Amendments that it wouldn't really be the USA any more, but something else, and would require so many Amendments being passed that no one could do it secretly or quickly. Amendments take 2/3 of Congress or 2/3 of state legislatures just to propose an amendment. Ratification takes "the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof."
      Not going to happen.

      May 9, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • BG

      @ Nominus

      Ridiculous. Yeah. Just like the U.S. Treasury sponsoring seminars for major brokerages and investment banks on how to participate in Sharia-financed investment products? Or how major universities and municipalities have agreed to limit access to pools and gyms so that Muslim women can have the facilities free of both men and non-Muslims, including facility staff? Or why segregated Islamic toilet facilities have been installed? Or businesses being forced to provide Islamic-specific areas and time for Muslims to pray during the business day? Or Dearborn, Michigan prohibiting free speech for fear of Muslim unrest? How utterly ridiculous.

      Bullsh!t, Nominus. Every concession to Islamic tradition and practice is a Sharia concession. Wake up. Unless you're Muslim, then it doesn't matter...


      May 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  18. Bishoy


    May 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  19. Ashraf

    islam go down down thanks bn laden and salfiien islam irhab

    May 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  20. BG

    Here we go. The first acid-test of the -new- government. Let's see if all those demonstrations were in vain. Do they truly want a secular government?

    Prove it.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Dmitri P

      They don't have a secular government and this violence is religious violence.
      What would someone like you expect? A crackdown on their fellow Muslims?
      Please get a clue. They are better than gold.

      May 9, 2011 at 6:54 am |
    • BG

      @ Dmitri P

      " What would someone like you expect? A crackdown on their fellow Muslims?"



      May 9, 2011 at 9:07 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.