In his recent book, “Fleeing Herod,” the Australian writer James Cowan retraces the steps of the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt following Joseph’s dream warning him about Herod’s intentions toward the infant Jesus.
Cowan admits in the prologue that current events in Egypt made him even more conscious of Egypt’s history and “the millennia of knowledge embodied in its sands.”
Cowan’s guide on his journey is a fourth-century text written by a Coptic Pope, Theophilus of Alexandria, entitled “The Visions of Theophilus.” Along the way he meets monks, nuns, pilgrims and the then-Coptic Pope.
Whether or not we believe the fourth century reference of Mary being under an Egyptian tree, one Coptic belief is undeniable: “Egypt [is] central to the birth of Christianity.”
Thus, Christians must be concerned about what is happening to Coptic Christians today.
Second, from Nina Shea at National Review:
Violent aggression by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, including those sympathetic to al-Qaeda, continues to be directed at one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, following the military’s break up last week of Brotherhood sit-ins. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party has been inciting the anti-Christian pogroms on its web and Facebook pages. One such page, posted on August 14, lists a bill of particulars against the Christian Coptic minority, blaming it, and only it, for the military’s crackdown against the Brotherhood, alleging that the Church has declared a “war against Islam and Muslims.” It concludes with the threat, “For every action there is a reaction.” This builds on statements in the article “The Military Republic of [Coptic Pope] Tawadros,” carried on the MB website in July, about the Coptic Church wanting to “humiliate” Muslims and eradicate Islam.
The litany of attacks is long: St. George Church, St. Mary’s Church, Good Shepherd’s Church, the Pentecostal Church, in Minya; St. Therese Church, Church of the Reformation, Church of the Apostle, Holy Revival Church, St. John’s Church, in Assiut; Church of the Virgin Mary in Cairo, St. Damiana Church, the Evangelical Church, and Joseph’s Church, in Fayoum; Church of the Archangel Michael, St. Saviors Anglican Church, the Greek Orthodox and Franciscan churches, in Suez; Fr. Maximus Church and St. George’s Church, in Alexandria. . .