For Immediate Release
(Washington, DC) October 2, 2017
Coptic Solidarity encourages individuals worldwide who care about religious freedom to join us on October 5 to commemorate Modern Coptic Martyrs who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their faith. The commemoration event will be hosted in the US Capitol Building, room H-137 at 1:30 – 2:30 pm and is open to the public and press.
Confirmed speakers include: US Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ); US Representative French Hill (R-AK); US Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA); Mr. Mansour Al-Hadj – Director of Reform, MEMRI; Fr. Theodoros Daoud – Archpriest, The Greek Orthodox Church; Mr. Samy Gerges – Senior Program Officer, Freedom House; Ms. Lindsay Griffin – Director of Development and Advocacy, Coptic Solidarity; Ms. Lou Ann Sabatier – Director of Strategy and Communications, 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative.
Coptic Solidarity holds this event in recognition of the rapidly increasing number of Copts who have been killed for their faith, to create greater awareness of the plight of Copts who suffer religious persecution and daily discriminations, and to advocate for their religious freedom and civil rights.
The commemoration will be held near the 6th Anniversary of the Maspero Massacre in which the Egyptian army murdered 28 demonstrators (27 were Copts) and injured 327 who were peacefully protesting the government’s closure of a church in Aswan after it was destroyed by Islamists. The government has yet to take responsibility for this brutal attack in which soldiers used live ammunition and drove armored personnel carriers in zig-zag patterns through the protestors to kill as many as possible.
Six years later, Copts continue to suffer in ever increasing numbers, both from systematic discrimination by the Egyptian government and the majority Muslim society, and also from violent attacks on their person, property and places of worship. Coptic Solidarity has created a registry to track these attacks.
From the bombing of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in December 2016, to the twin Palm Sunday bombings in Tanta and Alexandria, to the attack on Coptic pilgrims visiting St. Samuel Monastery, to the many fatal attacks on individual Copts this past year, the need for individuals worldwide to join and demand justice could not be more urgent.
Coptic Solidarity urges concerned individuals of all faiths and denominations to join with us in commemorating sixth anniversary of the Maspero Massacre by hosting prayer vigils and other remembrance events. We have created an online resource center where churches and individuals can find the necessary tools to host a prayer event or any other commemorative activity.
Coptic Solidarity urges all concerned to stand together in unity demanding the Egyptian government acknowledge and provide justice for the victims of the Maspero Massacre and other attacks, provide protection of its Coptic citizens, end the systematic and institutional discrimination against them, and accord them full and equal rights as citizens in their country.
Coptic Solidarity is an organization seeking to help minorities, particularly the Copts, of Egypt and we support those in Egypt working for democracy, freedom, and the protection of the fundamental rights of all Egyptian citizens. It advocates in cooperation with the affiliated organizations in Canada and in Europe (Solidarité Copte). For more information, contact Lindsay Griffin at 801-512-1713 or firstname.lastname@example.org