Persecution of Copts

The persecution of Copts and the discrimination against Coptic Orthodox Christians are historic and widespread issues in Egypt. They are also prominent examples of the poor status of Christians in the Middle East despite the fact that the religion is native to both the country and the region. Copts (Coptic: ⲟⲩⲣⲉⲙ'ⲛⲭⲏⲙⲓ 'ⲛ'Ⲭⲣⲏⲥⲧⲓ'ⲁⲛⲟⲥ ou Remenkīmi en.E khristianos, literally: "Egyptian Christian") are the Christ followers in Egypt, usually Oriental Orthodox, who currently make up 15%[lower-alpha 1][lower-alpha 2] of the population of Egypt—the largest religious minority of that country. Copts have cited instances of persecution throughout their history and Human Rights Watch has noted "growing religious intolerance" and sectarian violence against Coptic Christians in recent years, as well as a failure by the Egyptian government to effectively investigate properly and prosecute those responsible.[19][20] Since 2011 hundreds of Egyptian Copts have been killed in sectarian clashes, and many homes, churches and businesses have been destroyed. In just one province (Minya), 77 cases of sectarian attacks on Copts between 2011 and 2016 have been documented by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.[21] The abduction and disappearance of Coptic Christian women and girls also remains a serious ongoing problem.[22][23][24]

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