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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Under Threat: The Worsening Plight of Egypt's Coptic Christians

Date: 
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 10:00am
Location: 
Cannon 334

Announcement

Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on threats to religious freedom in Egypt, including, the worsening plight of Egypt’s Coptic Christians. At a time when the world’s attention is on Egypt as it undergoes historic but tumultuous political change, it is important that the U.S. continue to shine the spotlight on the difficulties confronting religious minorities in the country. Egypt is on the cusp of a new era but the transition to a democratic society means more than just holding elections. It means that basic freedoms—such as the freedom of religion— are protected.

The Coptic Christian community, which traces its origins back 2,000 years and is the largest religious minority in Egypt today, is under assault. Churches have been bombed and citizens have been attacked while the Egyptian government seemingly encourages a culture of impunity for those responsible for these acts of violence. This hearing will address the continued discrimination and physical threats to the Coptic community and consider how the United States can better support religious freedom.

If you have any questions, please contact Kalinda Stephenson (Rep. Wolf) at 202-225-5136 or Mike McVicker (Rep. McGovern) at 202-225-3599.

Hosted by:

Frank R. Wolf, Member of Congress and Co-Chair, TLHRC
James P. McGovern, Member of Congress and Co-Chair, TLHRC

Witnesses

Panel I

  • Kathy Fitzpatrick, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State

Panel II

  • Nina Shea - Director, Center for Religious Freedom, Hudson Institute
  • Dina Guirguis - Egyptian American democracy activist, attorney, and member, Egyptian American Rule of Law Association

Panel III

  • Adel Guindy - President, Coptic Solidarity International
  • Cynthia Farahat - Egyptian political activist, writer and researcher
  • Raymond Ibrahim - Middle East specialist and Associate fellow, Middle East Forum

Transcript

Transcript [PDF]

Video

PART I: OPENING REMARKS

PART II: PANEL I

PART II: PANEL II

PART III: PANEL III

112th Congress