Half of Syria and Iraq’s Christians have left since 2011, says report

By World Watch Monitor Three years to the day since the Islamic State group took control of the Iraqi city of Mosul, a new report estimates that 50-80% of the Christian populations of Iraq and Syria have emigrated since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011. The arrival of IS was only the “tipping point” of a trend already gathering pace as Christians experienced an “overall loss of hope for a safe and secure future”, according to the report, produced by Christian charities Open Doors, Served and Middle East Concern. The report also notes that for the Christians who have settled elsewhere, there is “little incentive” to return, with several interviewees saying “the Middle East is no longer

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Catalog: Recent Incidents of Persecution and Discrimination Against Egypt’s Copts

  By Coptic Solidarity – Due to increasing attacks on Copts in Egypt, Coptic Solidarity has compiled this list which represents various types of persecution against Copts in the last six months, October 2016 – March 2017. Multiple sources confirm that at least 355 families have fled Arish in the Sinai as of the writing of this compilation. We continue to monitor the Coptic refugee situation of those forced to flee the Sinai and call on the Egyptian government to provide immediate protection and restitution of properties and belongings of those who have fled. Coptic Solidarity credits the Eshhad Project of The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy which compiled many of these incidents and provides an excellent map pinpointing

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As Copts Flee Sinai, Egyptian Establishment, Al-Azhar Criticized For Not Tackling ISIS, Anti-Copt Discrimination

By: C. Meital – MEMERI – Introduction In recent weeks, there has been an escalation of ISIS attacks against Coptic residents of northern Sinai, which included the murders of at least seven Copts.[1] These attacks were preceded by an ISIS video on February 19, 2017, that included threats of attacks on Egyptian Christians, as well as numerous threats made by ISIS on social media.[2] As a result, over 200 Coptic families fled from Al-‘Arish to Al-Ismailia and other governorates in Egypt proper.[3] Copts Arriving at a church in Al-Ismailia (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, February 26, 2017) President Al-Sisi and Egyptian regime officials were quick to stress that they were working to handle the crisis and assist the Copts. Al-Sisi said that the state

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Copts Flee Sinai Amid ISIS Campaign Of Murder, Threats

By: R. Green – MEMRI The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here. In the last few days, dozens of Coptic Christian families fled El Arish in north Sinai amid an ongoing campaign of murder and threats waged against them by the Islamic State (ISIS). According to reports, at least seven Coptic civilians were killed by ISIS operatives in the city in recent weeks, prompting Coptic families to flee to mainland Egypt. Some Egyptian sources claim that 85 of the 103 Coptic families in the city have fled; other sources place the figure at 45. Some of these families have taken refuge in the Anglican church

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Briefing on the Release of the 2015 Annual Report on International Freedom (IRF)

Briefing on the Release of the 2015 Annual Report on International Freedom (IRF) Special Briefing – David N. Saperstein, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom August 10, 2016 Full Annual Report>> Egypt Section of Report>> AMBASSADOR SAPERSTEIN: I want to thank Deputy Secretary Blinken for his leadership and for his deep and abiding commitment to religious freedom. And I want to acknowledge as well Tom Malinowski, who as assistant secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor so ably coordinates all the human rights efforts at the State Department. Thank you all as well for coming today for the release of the 2015 International Religious Freedom Report, an event that provides us each year with an important opportunity to highlight this

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Religious Intolerance in the Gulf States

Religious Intolerance in the Gulf States By Hilal Khashan, Middle East Quarterly -Summer 2016 Interest in the state of Middle East Christians has largely focused on the quality of their lives in the Levant, Egypt, and Southern Sudan, predominantly Christian areas before the rise of Islam that still contain sizeable Christian minorities. By contrast, little attention has been paid to Christians in the Arabian Peninsula, which had no indigenous Christian presence in Islamic times. However, the oil boom of the 1970s created a tremendous demand for foreign labor in the Persian Gulf rentier states. Unsurprisingly, the number of workers needed to drive the emerging economies of the Gulf states was bound to include significant numbers of Christians. There are now more

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