Violence and hate speech targeting religious minorities was already on the increase under the former president's rule. Since his removal from power, attacks on the Coptic community in particular have increased sharply, primarily but not exclusively in Upper Egypt, following allegations from several Islamist sources that Christians played a pivotal role in the removal of Morsi’s regime.
In a statement issued yesterday, Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, said, “Egypt cannot move forward while state apparatus does not hold people accountable for these unlawful hate crimes that stand to divide the country further, promoting increased polarisation at every level. Proactive efforts must be made towards promoting social cohesion and inclusion for all members of society so that this new phase of Egyptian history can be built upon true unity, collaboration, and reconciliation.”
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “CSW urges the interim government to ensure security for the Coptic community, and that those perpetrating sectarian violence are apprehended and charged. Egypt's Christians must be afforded the same protection under the law as their fellow citizens. We continue to pray and stand in solidarity with all Egyptians at this critical time in their nation’s journey to full democracy.”