Threats by Islamists against Coptic Churches in Europe

Country: International

Date of incident: January 6, 2011

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Islamist / Private



Christian Copts in Europe, particularly in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy, celebrated Christmas on January 6th under special police protection.

Terror threats were voiced already before the attacks on Copts in Egypt took place, reported BBC in London. Several Coptic churches were especially targeted by these threats, such as the Mary and Marc Community in Paris led by Girguis Lucas and several British churches overseen by bishop Angälos, as well as churches in Frankfurt am Main and Lehrte / Hannover. German coptic bishop Anba Damian of Höxter announced that Christmas celebrations will be more quiet and less profiled than previous years.Coptic clergy called for government protection after the announcement of attacks in Europe made on the Internet by Islamic Mujahidden.  European Copts have until now been spared the threats and perceived discrimination that have been the lot of their brethren in Egypt, where Orthodox Christianity makes up just 10 percent of population. Now, "this threat is serious for us. People are afraid" said pastor Arsenious El Baramousy, head of the Coptic church in Amsterdam, "what happened in Alexandria could happen in Amsterdam." Bishop Angaelos, the General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Britain, stated that he had discussed the threats with fellow bishops across Europe and that precaution taken after earlier attacks had been heightened. "We take any threat as being viable. There are a couple of churches that have been outlined." Despite the threats to their life, they keep their faith remains strong. As Girguis Lucas says, "We are worried, but we are not afraid. We are protected by God." Sources and further information: http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/police-on-alert-after-threats-on-copts-20110104-19e0z.html http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=8789 http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/world/threats-against-coptic-churches-reach-as-far-as-europe http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/04/AR2011010402055.html http://www.cnewa.us/default.aspx?ID=6&pagetypeID=9&sitecode=US&pageno=1first