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Egypt’s churches are burning, but Christianity will not be extinguished

From Cranmer

Egypt's military junta have cracked down on the Islamist supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi: some 327 are reported to have been killed; almost 3000 injured. A month-long state of emergency has been declared and curfews imposed in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. The carnage has been condemned by the UN Secretary General, along with the world's presidents, prime ministers, secretaries of state and the EU's Cathy Ashton.

But instead of retaliating against the military, Muslim Brotherhood members have decided to attack the Christians, just as they do in all Muslim-majority countries. They're going for the Copts, Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Baptists – it doesn't really matter. Churches and monasteries have been torched and burned to the ground. Tragically, they include the Church of the Virgin Mary in Minya, Upper Egypt, which dates back to the fourth century – the time of Arius.

And so, once again, we see the Pharaoh of the Nile characteristically determined to assert his totalism; brutally enacting the nightmare of eradication after years of confiscation, exploitation and persecution. The cost extends beyond its human toll to the savage abuse of the environment. And one Exodus naturally leads to another, as we have seen throughout the Middle East. Wherever Islam is the dominant faith, there is no tolerance of other faiths. It is estimated that between a half and two-thirds of Christians in the Middle East have left the region or been killed over the past century. We are on the cusp of Christianity disappearing from its biblical heartlands.

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