The protection of [Coptic Christianity’s] heritage took on greater urgency when 40 churches were wrecked, burned and looted in a pogrom-like wave of attacks in August, blamed on Islamic militants. Coptic leaders say the attacks are the worst in centuries.The attacks laid bare a worrisome failure or unwillingness by authorities, as well as moderate Muslims, to protect the churches. Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s 90 million citizens, were left with their deepest sense of vulnerability in recent history.
The article doesn’t mention any widespread movement to leave the country yet, especially given the commitment of many sources quoted in the article to preserving the churches in their area. But if the religious violence continues, the number of asylum cases could rise dramatically. The US and other governments need to think hard about what to do if the current trickle of persecuted immigrants turns into a flood.[Image of Saint Elias church in Qusayr courtesy Getty Images]