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Coptic Christians in Egypt in Their First Steps Toward Freedom

Contact: Rafique Iscandar, American Coptic Union, 201-798-1451, americancu@hotmail.com

MEDIA ADVISORY, July 10 /Christian Newswire/ -- The American Coptic Union is calling upon all Christians throughout the world to help the more than 1.5 million Coptic Christians in Egypt in their first steps toward freedom. These are Copts who have lost loved ones to government sanctioned persecution, have had their daughters kidnapped, and have refused the Egyptian Government’s repression. As a result, they have decided to form their own free Coptic Church because the traditional Church, under the current Pope Shenouda III, no longer represents all Coptic Egyptian people.

The American Coptic Union condemns the response of some Coptic figures, and Pro-Arab Muslim Coptic Organizations in the Diasporas, who have reacted negatively to the 1.5 million Copts who have opted for freedom from corruption through new Coptic leadership.

The traditional Coptic Church has unfortunately become a hotbed of heretical teaching, corruption, and treason. This increasing crisis has prompted the formation of new Coptic leadership under Bishop Michael Maximous I, which is necessary because of the rampant infiltration and corruption that has been taking place under the traditional Coptic Patriarch, Shenouda III.

For the past 25 years, the traditional Coptic Church has ignored numerous requests for reform and accountability. The responses by the Church, to such requests, have always been negative and sometimes violent.

The recent breakaway from the traditional Coptic Church is not only the result of the 30-year repression and persecution by the Arab Islamic regime of Egypt against Coptic minorities, but it is also a reaction to the old Church leadership which has done nothing to stop the continued persecution and killing of innocent Copts. Additionally, the traditional Coptic Church has done nothing to help its many victims of Islamic terrorism. In many cases, the top clergy have even played a suspicious role in helping Islamists and governmental authorities, thus intensifying the persecution of the Copts. The Patriarch, for example, nominated a Muslim by the name of Bishop Bishoy to head the Council of Bishops. This Bishop has been actively involved in corrupting the Church, beating up and torturing opposing Clergy and sexually assaulting Nuns.

Finally, we call upon the US Government, Congress, and Democratic and Freedom organizations to help this newborn movement to maintain its freedom. In addition, we are looking to pressure the Mubarak regime to stop inciting hatred against this movement, by using its agent Coptic Organizations.

The ACU will take all necessary steps to expose those who try to portray this cause of freedom to the American public as negative, and will actively seek support for this new Coptic movement. Thank you and God bless.