Out Of The Frying Pan…Egyptian Coptic Christians Seek Refuge In Russia

The excellent AsiaNews.it news service carries a sad story about persecuted Egyptian Coptic Christians fleeing their homes for refuge in Russia.

Tragically, they are not especially welcome.

The family say they fled religious persecution from Islamist groups…in Marsa Matrouh, near the border with Libya. “They threatened us with death if we didn’t convert and make our women and girls wear a veil,” Reda, 26, who fled with his 19 year old pregnant wife told AsiaNews.

“After the revolution many activists of the Muslim Brotherhood came,” added his brother Viktor, 30, “who put pressure on us Christians to convert. Our problems started already in late 2011, but are getting worse. Last year, after an argument with the principal of the school, who wanted to force my daughter to wear the hijab, we were told that the presence of Christians in the city was no longer welcome. We sought shelter with a local priest…but his church had already been burned once and so he did not want to further expose himself to attack.”

Now all 10 Egyptians, plus Iraqis and Sudanese, are forced to live in a room of 20 square meters, with only a few chairs and a table, because there is no temporary accommodation center for immigrants waiting to receive refugee status in the city.

Today we get another report of the ethnic cleansing of Christians that is taking place in Syria. Egypt has not yet reached that point. But the fact that Egyptian Christians are fleeing to Russia is evidence that conditions for many are turning desperate.

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