Coptic Christians' faith strengthened through persecution, says expert

The more that terrorists persecute Coptic Christians and target them in deadly attacks, the more they cling to their faith and hold on to hope, according to an expert on the cause of the conflict in the Middle East.

(REUTERS / Mohamed Abd El Ghany)Mourners react at the Sacred Family Church for the funeral of Coptic Christians who were killed on Friday in Minya, Egypt, May 26, 2017.

Coptic Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt's population, so the general public looks at their community differently. However, Prof. Mounir Farag said the rise in the string of attacks against the religious minority stems from the political ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic groups in the country, Rome Reports TV News Agency relayed.

Prof. Farag pointed out that Coptic Christians have been targeted in terror attacks every year in the last four or five decades. He explained that this behavior was prompted by the violent political ideologies taught in the second part of the Quran which showed the Prophet Mohammed's transition "from a spiritual leader to a political leader."

The expert said Muslim ideology groups teach their young members to hate Christians. However, the Copts continue to hold on to their faith and forgive those who have wronged them or have tried to hurt their community.

"What is important is the more they attack, the more they kill, the Christian faith becomes stronger. The pardon is marvelous from those victims and their families. The Christians in Egypt, where thanks be to God, now their faith is so strong since childhood," said Prof. Farag. "During the last attack, there were many children, and to have to listen to their testimony and forgiving those who did the attacks against them."

While the terror attacks are seen as part of the Islamic State's campaign to eliminate Christians, the relentless violence against Coptics highlighted the inadequate political representation for them. As of now, there are only 36 Christians among the Egyptian Parliament's 596 members, Face 2 Face Africa pointed out.

Coptic Christians are vulnerable to religiously motivated attacks because the Egyptian law declared Islam as the country's official religion. Moreover, citizens are prohibited from converting to another faith. The government has repeatedly condemned such attacks, but it has reportedly not taken concrete action against the people or groups behind these acts of persecution.

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