Historic Day for Coptic Christians in Australia
The Coptic Orthodox Church, Sydney Diocese, has noted “the authentic Australian spirit of fairness, justice, courage and mateship” in an unprecedented show of support within the Australian Federal Parliament.
The passing of a motion in a bipartisan support:
- recognised that Coptic Christians in Egypt are suffering ongoing and increasing persecution;
- condemned the recent attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt;
- expressed its sympathy for Coptic Christians who have been victims of recent attacks in Egypt; and
- called on the Government to:
a. Issue a public statement condemning the ongoing attacks against the Coptic Christian minority in Egypt;
b. Make immediate representations to the United Nations to end the persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt; and
c. Strongly urge the Egyptian Government to provide equal rights and protection for all Egyptian citizens regardless of race or religion.
The diocese said the motion “soothed the hearts of thousands of Copts around Australia. This is after the horrific atrocity which was orchestrated by the Egyptian Armed Forces, where more than 24 Christians were shot dead and one third of which crushed by army tanks, and over 300 encountering horrific injuries, while in a peaceful demonstration on Sunday October 9, 2011, in Maspiro Square, Cairo.
“The Coptic Orthodox Community is grateful to the support and the initiative made by the Hon. Craig Kelly, the Liberal Federal Member of Hughes, in moving the motion and putting to the Australian Parliament the pains and fears of the Australian Coptic Community.
“Mr Kelly’s motion was supported unanimously by all members of the House; he was joined in notable and encouraging statements by the Hon. Anthony Albanese (Leader of the House), the Hon. Bob Katter and the Hon. Michael Danby.
“The Coptic Church calls on the Australian media to not ignore these atrocities and to expose the injustice forced upon innocent civilian, men, women and children because of no other reason except their religion and their desire to stand up and have a voice in their own homeland, being the indigenous people of that land.”
The Australian Coptic Movement in conjunction with the Coptic Orthodox Church, Diocese of Sydney, will hold a Memorial Service — “Stand Up for Egypt’s Copts” — on Sunday, October 23, 1.30 to 4 pm, at Belmore Park (near Central Station), Sydney.
The purpose of the special event is to stand in solidarity with Egypt’s Copts during these troubled times and in particular to remember the 25 Christian Martyrs of the Maspiro Massacre and the hundreds who were injured in addition to remembering the scores of Copts who have been massacred this year.
“We ask for the prayers of the Martyrs in front of God’s throne as Copts throughout the world complete a three-day period of fasting and prayer.”