Germany calls for Christian aid
A member of parliament in Germany has called on President Angela Merkel to specifically target aid money at persecuted Christians.
According to BBC reports, Stefan Mueller, parliamentary leader of the junior coalition party, Christian Social Union, called on Mrs Merkel to go further, by linking development aid to the treatment of Christians in relevant countries.
Mr Mueller’s comments came as Germany stepped up its anti-terror protection around Coptic churches in the country, following threats to European Coptic churches by militant Islamic groups.
The threats to churches in France, Germany and the UK came in the wake of the Alexandria bombing of Coptic Christians on New Year’s Day, which killed 21 outright and left dozens badly injured. The bombings sparked protests by Egypt’s Coptic Christians who said they had feared attacks as they prepared to celebrate Christmas on 7 January, but that their fears had been taken lightly by the police.
The German interior ministry says members of its own Coptic church expressed their concerns even before the New Year’s Day suicide attack. Bishop Anba Damian told German radio that his community had been warned by police about online threats by Islamists.
He told German media that Coptic communities in Germany, France and Britain as well as Egypt were cited by Islamist web sites two weeks ago, apparently accusing Egyptian Christians of mistreating female converts to Islam.
Release International chief executive Andy Dipper said, ‘We are seeing a pattern emerging in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere, of attacks by Islamist militants against Christian communities.
‘The aim seems to be twofold – to drive out Christians where they are in a minority, and to set religious communities against one another to destabilise moderate governments’.
Web sites in the Arabic world reacted quickly to condemn the bombings as ‘anti-Islam’ (despite being carried out in the name of Islam), although one news site carried a chilling message of threat.