Muslims and Christians Clash in Egypt

Clashes between Egyptian Muslims and Christians erupted early on April 6 in a town near Cairo. Security officials reported that at least four Christians and one Muslim died.

Police said the fighting began when young Muslims drew inflammatory symbols on an Islamic institute and a local mosque. Christian onlookers began arguing with Muslims nearby. Soon, residents wielding guns began firing on one another.

The Muslim Brotherhood, led by President Mohamed Morsi, condemned the sectarian strife.

Egypt’s Coptic Christians have long accused the state of discrimination. Copts comprise about 10 percent of the country’s 85 million people. They are the largest Christian community in the Middle East.

Egyptian Christians fear that the new Muslim Brotherhood leadership gives ultraconservative Islamic clerics and extremists a freer hand to attack Coptic churches and property.

Expect violence against Christians to spread in the Middle East as radical Islam gains power in the region. Then look for the Vatican to step up its defense of Christians within the region.

For more information, read “The Coming War Between Catholicism and Islam.”