The rise of the “mostly secular” Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has had a decidedly non-secular effect: Persecution of Egypt’s Coptic Christians is on the rise. In the latest bout of civil unrest, the Brotherhood torched three churches.

Copts are a minority in Egypt. They don’t control the military government any more than they controlled Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government. But notice how AFP characterizes the burnings.

Supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi torched three churches in central Egypt on Wednesday in reprisal attacks as police dispersed demonstrations in Cairo, reports said.

“Reprisal attacks”? They’re attacking Christians, who are largely powerless in Egypt, in revenge for the majority’s successful move to oust them? Yes, according to AFP at the end of their story.

The Coptic church backed Morsi’s removal, with Patriarch Tawadros II appearing alongside army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as he announced the military coup on July 3.

Muslims persecute Christians. Muslims suppress the church and they deprive Christians of their lives and liberties as a matter of routine wherever they have the power to do so. It’s still illegal to have a Christian church in Saudi Arabia. Muslims who convert to Christianity face execution even in Afghanistan. We’re living, right now, through what some say is the worst period in history to be a Christian, as persecution is on the rise throughout the Islamic world. There is more persecution of Christians now than there was in the darkest days of the Roman Empire.

But to AFP, the Coptic Church’s support to push the totalitarian Muslim Brotherhood from power justifies harm to soft Christian targets –  “reprisal attacks” and church burnings.

h/t Andrew McCarthy