National Edition

How Christians and Muslims could finally find common ground in Egypt

Published: Thursday, Oct. 3 2013 5:00 p.m. MDT

Egyptian protesters chant slogans denouncing the proposed constitution during a rally in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012.

Nasser Nasser, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

Religion News Service’s Monique El-faizy wrote Thursday that many Egyptians are bridging the chasm between Christianity and Islam via nationalism.

“After decades of polarization along religious lines, Christians and Muslims in Egypt are coming together to rally behind their flag,” El-faizy reported from Cairo. “… Egyptian flags adorn houses and buildings throughout the capital, and everything — from sandbags buttressing military blockades to pillars along the Nile Corniche — has been painted in the national colors of black, white and red.

“These sentiments have served to unite Christians and Muslims.”

El-faizy’s article explained that the burgeoning unity between Christians and moderate Muslims is largely a result of shared antipathy to the extremist Muslim Brotherhood political party. However, the good news comes with a caveat: “The current sectarian amity is likely largely confined to the upper and upper-middle classes, political observers said. The lower classes are more conservative and are dominated by Islamists.”

During July and August, dozens of Christian churches in Egypt were burned to the ground. Two weeks ago the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom sent a letter to President Obama insisting that the interim Egyptian government “provide greater protections for Christians and their places of worship.”

Last week Washington Post columnist Colbert King penned a column with the headline, “Christians in the Crosshairs.” King thoroughly detailed much of the persecution Christians are facing in places like Africa and the Middle East.

“The record of crimes against Christians is too terrible to ponder,” King wrote.

Email: jaskar@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS