For release: 11 October, 2011

 Australian Government needs to apply stronger diplomatic pressure on Egyptian authorities

 The head of the Australian Christian Lobby Jim Wallace has called for the Australian Government to condemn in stronger terms the violence in Egypt against Coptic Christians.

Mr Wallace said the death of 24 people and injury of more than 200 people when military and police fired on a demonstration of Coptic Christians on Sunday night was an attack on religious freedom.

“The Australian government should demand that the Egyptian authorities guarantee religious freedom and protection of the Copts and other religious minorities,” Mr Wallace said.

Mr Wallace said the latest attack on Christians follows another incident on January 1st this year in which 23 Coptic Christians died in a bombing attack on a church.

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

“There is a clear need for Australia and other Western Governments to be prepared to quickly and strongly condemn such blatantly unacceptable action by Egyptian authorities,” he said.