Day of Prayer for Christians in Egypt
The event will be in London on Jan. 29, and hosted by British-based human rights organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) in association with United Action for Egyptian Christians.
According to a news release from CSW, the interdenominational event will be addressed by Bishop Angaelos, head of the Coptic Church in the UK, Dr Raafat Girgis, a leading expert on the history of Christianity in Egypt, Pastor Wagih Abdelmassih of the Arab evangelical church and Pastor Ian McCormack of the Assemblies of God.
Ibrahim Habib of United Copts of Great Britain and representatives from CSW will discuss the challenges facing Christians in Egypt.
CSW reported that the start of 2011 has been marred by religious violence for Christians in Egypt, who make up approximately ten per cent of the population.
The bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria on New Year’s Eve killed 21 people and injured 80 others. On Jan. 11, a 71-year-old Christian man was killed and his wife and four others injured when a gunman opened fire on an Assiut train bound for Cairo.
Last year saw an escalation in violence against Christians following the shooting of six Copts as they left a Coptic Christmas Mass on Jan. 6 2010 in Nag Hammadi. In March, an attack on a large church in Marsa Matrouh left 24 injured. In November, a contested church site in the Talibiya district of Giza incited violent protests in which two Christians were shot by state security police.
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas, who spoke at a service of remembrance for victims of the Alexandrian bombings on Jan. 9 said in a news release, “We are delighted to join with United Action for Egyptian Christians, United Copts of Great Britain and members of interdenominational churches to pray for peace in Egypt. We look forward to welcoming church leaders and experts on Egypt to pray with us and to stand in solidarity with the church of Egypt at this time.”
CSW is a human rights advocacy organization specializing in religious freedom, working on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs and promoting religious liberty for everyone.