Egypt (MNN) — Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, recently released the Egyptian-American charity worker, Aya Hijazi, 30, along with her husband and four other workers who have been imprisoned in Cairo for the past three years.
The release of these six humanitarian workers comes at a time when the United States and Egypt seem to be mending ties — or at least moving in that direction.
However, this “mending” may not actually have that much effect on minorities in the country, such as Christians.
Terry Ascott with SAT-7, a Christian satellite ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, shares, “When we think of a president, we think he has absolute power in a country like Egypt. If he says something, it’s done. The truth is there are millions of people who have their own Islamic agendas…and they’re working actually against each other very often…and what you’ve got is a country that’s not easy to govern.”
The majority in Egypt is not respectful to religious minorities. Many are scared by a free press, and Islamic teachings can be found in many different sectors of society such as in schools, politics, and the military.
President Sisi, known for supporting the equal treatment of all Egyptian citizens, has a lot working against him.
“Now, he’s done some great things. He was the first and only president who ever went to congratulate the Christians on the feast of Christmas. He went to the cathedral to offer his condolences when the 21 [Coptic Christians] were killed in Libya, when they were martyred on the beach by ISIS,” Ascott shares.
Faith in Egypt
Still, President Sisi’s ideal Egypt is far from a reality. Minority religions, particularly Christians, are regularly targeted by Muslim extremists. And, as Ascott says, there’s little that can be done to protect oneself when someone else is willing to give their life to take yours.