Egyptian Christians Back to Square One

Coptic priest casting his ballot

Posting to the blog has been a little scarce these days, after a furious run-up to the elections. The good news is that the writing focus has been directed to publications seeking coverage, and the first of these was published this afternoon at Christianity Today. I hope another one will come due next week, but for now, please enjoy this preview, and if it grabs you click below to conclude the reading on their site.

…..

After a year of new forms of political engagement, why do Copts still face the same ‘bitter choice’ of old regime vs. Islamists?

Despite the best efforts of Christian and Muslim revolutionaries, the first free presidential election in Egypt’s history has resulted in an all-too-familiar choice: old regime vs. Islamists.

The nation’s Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission confirmed on Monday that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsy advanced to the run-off election against Ahmed Shafik, former president Hosni Mubarak’s last-ditch appointee as prime minister during the revolution’s early days. Both candidates gathered nearly 25 percent of the vote. Only a few percentage points behind was Hamdeen Sabbahi, whose late surge as the revolutionary choice was not enough to displace Egypt’s traditional combatants.

The majority of Copts voted for Shafik, according to Mina el-Badry, an evangelical pastor in Upper Egypt. “Not from love, but to oppose the Islamists,” he said, “because [Shafik] is from the army and will know how to run the transition, and because he is clear and firm in his word and decision.”

Youssef Sidhom, editor-in-chief of Coptic newspaper Watani, also sees the necessity of Christians supporting Shafik. “The revolution is now in the hands of political Islam,” he said, “and Copts must make a bitter choice to support the civil state.”

Yet many Copts wonder why this bitter choice has returned.

Click here to continue reading at Christianity Today.

 

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