Media Release

For release: Monday May 16, 2011

The Australian Christian Lobby is calling on the Federal Government to apply diplomatic pressure to Egypt to ensure religious minorities, such as the Copts are safe and protected under the interim Government.

The ACL is increasingly concerned at the persecution of Christians in Egypt after another clash between Christians and Muslims at the weekend in Cairo.

If follows a clash a week before which left 12 people dead and church buildings destroyed.

“We would hope the Australian Government is bringing strong diplomatic efforts to bear on the interim Egyptian Government and at the United Nations in support of persecuted religious minorities,” ACL Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said.

“Copts within Australia are watching with concern at the events unfolding in Egypt and the welfare of loved ones.

“It’s clear that since Hosni Mubarak was deposed, violence against Christians has intensified.

“We find no comfort in the news that a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood plans to run for presidency in the September election.

“We are concerned an Islamist leader in Cairo would be a setback for Copts and minorities in Egypt and urge the Government to highlight the need for religious freedom in the new Egypt,” he said.