The Coptic Christian community in Egypt is the largest Christian community in the Middle East, representing more than half the Christians in the region.
And much like their counterparts in other Middle Eastern countries, they live embattled lives. The problem has been acute since the New Year’s Day bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria in 2011 and was further inflamed by the fires of the so-called “Arab Spring” and Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt.
— Egypt Independent (@EgyIndependent) December 13, 2016
As the Copts faced terror, violence, and discrimination, they also faced the callous indifference of the Obama administration.
In fact, more Coptic Christians have been murdered in the past two months than the Obama administration admitted as refugees during the entirety of Obama’s presidency.
Two months ago I was reporting here at PJ Media about the suicide bombing of one of the churches inside the Coptic cathedral compound in Cairo. Initially, 25 worshipers—almost all women—were killed.
— PJ Media (@PJMedia_com) December 11, 2016
Four more victims have died since:
Death toll from Cairo church bombing rises to 28. Loris Naguib, 60, died on Wednesday of her injuries.
— Heba Farouk Mahfouz (@HebaFarooq) January 5, 2017
Maggie Momen, clinging to her life since the Cairo Cathedral Bombing on Dec. 11, become a martyr at the age of 10. Lord repose her soul. pic.twitter.com/HWBaxVTGXw
— Father Michael (@Sorial) December 20, 2016
— Mai El-Sadany (@maitelsadany) December 24, 2016
— Bel Trew (@Beltrew) February 4, 2017
This brings the total number of victims killed in the Dec. 11th bombing to 29 souls.
On Jan. 3rd I reported on a Christian storekeeper who was brutally murdered by an Islamist, reportedly because he had sold alcohol.
Since then, four other Coptic Christians have been murdered in what are believed to be sectarian attacks.
— World Watch Monitor (@wwmonitor) January 25, 2017
More on the recent murder of Egyptian Christians that is being reported from all provinces including Alexandria, Menoufia and now Asyut. pic.twitter.com/HGF05cpIzs
— Aus Coptic Movement (@auscma) January 17, 2017
So in the period of two months, the Christian community in Egypt saw 34 of its members murdered.
As noted earlier, these attacks targeting Christians are nothing new.
In August 2013, the Coptic community suffered one of its worst shocks in its nearly two thousand year history when a wave of arson attacks targeted churches, monasteries, Christian homes, and businesses throughout the country at the hands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
I reported here at PJ Media on my April 2014 trip into Upper Egypt to survey the damage wrought by these Muslim Brotherhood terror attacks.
— PJ Media (@PJMedia_com) August 14, 2016
One might think, given all the media coverage of President Trump’s recent executive order immigration pause and how it was excluding Christians and Yazidis—the victims of ISIS’ targeted genocide in Syria and Iraq—that the desperate situation was a cause of concern for the previous Obama administration.
But it wasn’t a cause for concern. In fact, as I noted here in August, the Obama administration actively discriminated against Syrian Christians.
Obama Admin ALREADY Discriminates Against Syrian Refugees on the Basis of Religion — if They're Christians https://t.co/gFMT5T3Q8S
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) August 2, 2016
So, too, with the Coptic Christians.
According to data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center, only 22 Coptic Christians were admitted during Obama’s entire presidency, which also included one each from Sudan and Eritrea.
As the table below shows, for three years (2011, 2013, 2014) the Obama administration admitted no Coptic Christians at all.
So it’s difficult to understand all the hand-wringing by the media and protests by Democrats about a 90-day pause in immigration from seven countries of concern—countries previously identified by the Obama administration—when they kept silent as the largest community of Christians suffered persecution at home and discrimination by the Obama State Department.
Testimonies of discrimination at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo are rife in the Coptic community. As I’ve previously reported, I was personally involved in several cases of Copts applying for visas to visit relatives in the U.S., some of whom had letters of support from members of Congress, yet all had their visa applications denied.
As deadly attacks targeting Egypt’s Christian community escalate, it seems entirely appropriate for the new Trump administration to examine the systematic and documented discrimination of the Obama administration, and to correct the wrongs done by their predecessors.
And for the media to do some soul-searching about their hypocrisy.