The shooting in Arizona this past week placed two things solidly in my mind; the fragility of life, and the veritable blessing it is to live in a place free from widespread violence. For many of our brothers and sisters in different communities around the globe, however, reminders of life’s fragility are unneeded and freedom from violence is novelty.
The Coptic Christian Church in Egypt is one such community. On New Years, a suicide bomber attacked a midnight mass, killing 21 worshipers and injuring 97 more. This act of violence was the latest in a long history of Muslim/Christian hostility evidenced by shootings and riots. Some Christians struck out in violent protest, others prayed, and all suffered at the hands of continuing atrocity.
Muslims in Egypt responded to the bombing and subsequent hostilities by attending Christmas Mass last Thursday, serving as human shields against the cruelty of a radical Muslim minority. Thousands stood shoulder to shoulder with Christians in their services, even though the threat of death remained very real. Their presence paid as much tribute to the Prince of Peace as the Christmas celebration itself; after all, it was the Prince that said “Greater Read more “Anguished Coptics and Loving Muslims”