Religion: Egypt's Copts in Crisis

The oldest Christian community fights for a tenuous security

When Egyptian President Anwar Sadat cracked down two weeks ago on religious militants who oppose his regime, one of his targets was the Coptic Orthodox Church, the ancient Christian community that has survived in Egypt since its establishment by the Apostle Mark in the 1st century A.D. Sadat abruptly stripped the Coptic Pope, Shenouda III, of his authority, banished him to a desert monastery, and ordered the arrest of some 125 Coptic clergy and lay activists. The world was shocked, but many members of the...

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