Relations between the Holy See and Egypt have grown strained ever since Coptic Christians in Egypt have been slaughtered and their churches destroyed. The Copts are among the oldest Christian communities in the world. In January, after Benedict merely asked Egypt to provide better protection to Christian minorities, Egypt recalled their ambassador to the Vatican because the request was “distasteful and offensive” to Egyptian sensibilities.
Yesterday, Benedict met with Egyptian foreign minister Nabil al-Arabi to deliver this message again. Al-Arabi also happens to now head the Arab League. No statements were issued after the talks, which can be a sign things didn’t go so well. In Iraq, Nigeria, Egypt, the Sudan, and the Palestinian territories, Christian populations are being slaughtered. A movie currently in theatres called “Of Gods and Men” tells of the Monks of Tibhirine. This monastery full of Trappist monks in Algeria were slaughtered in 1996. It is a problem that has only grown worse since 1996.