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Coptic Orthodox Priest Fr Mina Abboud Haroan Martyred by Islamist Radicals in Sinai

By Deacon Keith Fournier
July 10th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Father Mina Haroan Abboud is a Christian Martyr. He stands on the shoulders of Christian martyrs throughout the ages in this ancient land so vitally important to the Christian Church. Who is standing up for Christians in Egypt?  Where are the U.S. President, the Secretary of State, or other members of the Obama administration in the face of the escalating hostility shown to Christians in Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood and other militant Islamists? Why are we not reading about it or seeing reports on the main stream media?

CAIRO, Egypt (Catholic Online) -  A very reliable source, Asia News, has confirmed "A group of Islamist militants killed Mina Haroan Abboud, a 39-year-old Orthodox Coptic priest, in el-Arish, Sinai Peninsula. The murder took place today, in the early afternoon. A group of men, probably Islamic extremists, stepped out of a car and stopped the priest as he walked in the street. After shooting the clergyman at point blank, they fled."

"Fr Abboud was immediately taken to hospital but died a few hours later. Meanwhile, tensions are rising across the country after yesterday's pro-Morsi demonstrations. Sources told AsiaNews that the Muslim Brotherhood is taking its revenge.  In Cairo, people are fighting on rooftops, and Brotherhood members are hunting down young organisers of the 30 June mass rally."They are going house to house, pointing rifles and machineguns. They are attacking with all sorts of weapons," witnesses said."

Father Mina Haroan Abboud is a Christian Martyr. He stands on the shoulders of Christian martyrs throughout the ages, who have shed their blood for the faith in this ancient land so vitally important to the Christian Church. In response to this tragedy, the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom has called for three days of fasting and prayer for peace in Egypt.  

The history of Christianity in Egypt dates back to the visit of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph to that land. (Matt. 2) It predates any claimed Islamic history in that land. To the Christians who live in that historic land, the history of the Christian Church is the history of Egypt.

The Evangelist Mark brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Egypt in 61 A.D. and planted the Church there, deep in the soil of that land of martyrs and saints. Egypt has a proud, long, unbroken and vital Christian heritage. We must pray for, stand with, and defend Christians in Egypt as hostility toward the Christian faith grows under the Morsi regime.

The majority of Christians in Egypt are Coptic Orthodox. The very word Copt"comes from an early Greek name for Egypt. Christianity and Egypt have a long and holy history. In addition, there is a strong, ancient and devout community of Coptic Catholic Christians. The relationship between the two Churches is strong - and growing stronger under the persecution which they face together.

One of the reasons why the persistent and accelerating persecution of Christians in Egypt is so reprehensible is that their claim to live in this land is so strong, vital and clear. This is a real matter of social justice which is not being addressed by our Nation. This is an egregious violation of fundamental human rights.

Who is standing up for Christians in Egypt?  Where are the U.S. President, the Secretary of State, or other members of the Obama administration in the face of the escalating hostility shown to Christians in Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood and other militant Islamists? Why are we not reading about it or seeing reports on the main stream media?

We regularly cover the plight of our Coptic Orthodox and Catholic Christian brethren in Egypt. They are heroic witnesses to the Gospel. Their suffering and the shedding of their blood for the ancient faith should draw every Christian to our knees. It demands a response of support and solidarity from all who can help.

We have repeatedly urged our global readership to pray for Coptic Orthodox Christians and for Coptic Catholic Christians in Egypt in this critical hour. The presence of Coptic Christians in this ancient holy land is vital. Their presence precedes any Muslim claims to that nation. They are our brethren, joined to us in the bonds of our Baptismal communion.

We have a special obligation in Christian solidarity to our rbethren in the Lord Jesus Christ. We will do everything we can to call attention to their plight.

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