By Theodore Shoebat
The government of Egypt, amazingly, agreed to build a church in honor of the 21 Copts who were beheaded by ISIS. But, there is something that the church will have that will greatly anger the Muslims: a Cross. Since Muslims are an enemy of the Cross, they were enraged, and objected to the building of the church. This sparked tensions between the Christians and the Muslims, and the tensions eventually exploded into an all out brawl between Christians and Muslims in the streets, in which twelve people were wounded seven arrested. According to the report:
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s decision to build a church bearing the names of the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were beheaded in a video that surfaced on social media on Feb. 15 by the Islamic State in Libya, is not being well received by members of the local community.
The absence of a law regulating the construction of houses of worship generally, specifically churches, has placed the matter in the hands of hard-line religious groups. Reconciliation sessions, which have become commonplace and in many cases have replaced the law in Upper Egypt, are held to make peace between conflicting families or groups. The sessions are also held to prevent sectarian strife, further infringing on the rule of law.
The presidential decision issued Feb. 16 to build a church dubbed “Martyrs’ Church” for the slain Copts in el-Our village — the hometown of 13 of the victims — in Egypt’s Minya province was rejected by some hard-line Muslims inhabiting the village. The hard-line Muslims demonstrated in protest of the decision during a customary reconciliation session held between them and Copts, according to eyewitnesses and Coptic activists who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity.
Egyptian news websites reported on March 28 that clashes erupted between some Muslims and Christians in a dispute over building the church, resulting in 12 wounded and seven arrested.
This story reminds me of a brutal, but short battle that sparked between Christian and Arian laymen in the Middle Ages. The Arians, just like the Muslims, denied the Holy Trinity; and Islam is simply an Arabian continuation of Arianism.
In the time of the emperor Arcadius, it was common for the Arians to make a procession throughout the city of Constantinople every Saturday and Sunday, and sing Arian hymns to attack people to join their heretical movement. The hymn they would sing deliberately attacked the Holy Trinity, the lyrics being:
“Where are they that say three things are but one power?”
St. John Chrysostom, fearful of simple people falling for such deceptions, organized his own parade to combat the Arian attractions. He gathered together a large number of the faithful and sung hymns right in the same where the Arians sung their antichrist music. The Arians were greatly upset at this and violently attacked the Christians, and a small battle ensued. Christians killed Arians, and Arians killed Christians; death came on both sides. The emperor was furious at the Arians for provoking such a quarrel, and making the first attack, and banned the Arians from ever conducting such heretical processions. (Socrates, 6.8)
History is repeating itself.