JAFFA, Israel – Christian Egyptian-Americans have come under fire for their intention to stage a vigil opposite the White House highlighting the plight of their community in Egypt.
The planned protest, prompted by a string of attacks on Christians, was subject to much social media controversy, leading the Coptic Pope to ask the organizers to cancel it.
“I am against demonstrations and protests that harm Egypt and pit us against the leaders of our country, and embarrass us in front of them,” Pope Tawadros said. “Protests won’t help, because they hurt Egypt’s image internationally. We can deal with our problems here in Egypt.”
“For Jesus Christ’s sake, please avoid unwelcome activities in our US churches,” he added. “These demonstrations are very damaging. Things are different today than they were five or 10 years ago. We can’t cope with the events in the same way we did in the past. Blessings be to those who obey.”
The Pope’s remarks came after Egyptians accused the Copts of airing Egypt’s dirty linen abroad.
“The Copts abroad wish to protest in front of the White House,” Amina wrote. “It’s the same White House that never cared about Egypt and never condemned the attacks on it. Shame.”
أقباط المهجر عاوزين يعملوا وقفه أمام البيت الأبيض
البيت الأبيض اللي ماعبرش مصر بعبارة تنديد واستنكار لحرق كنائسها
— Amina (@emyygemyy) August 3, 2016
Doaa tweeted: “The Copts abroad incite against Egypt. They aren’t much different from those living in Qatar and Turkey. All of them are traitors, none representing Egypt.”
اقباط المهجر المحرضين ضد مصر
الخرفان في قطر وتركيا المحرضين ضد مصر
كلاهما لايمثل المصريين pic.twitter.com/Y7k8KqoM6X
— تحيا مصر (@doaaash18) August 2, 2016
Omar responded: “They’re all dirty. They have to understand that Egypt won’t bow its head, won’t crack, and won’t give up.”
كلها أشكال وسخه .لازم يفهموا ان مصر مش بتطاطي ولا بتنكسر ولا بتخاف
— Disha Omar (@DishaOmar1) August 3, 2016
“Our Christian brethren need to declare that they have nothing to do with the protests organized by the Copts abroad, opposite the White House, to turn the West against Egypt,” Zahda wrote.
المفروض اخواتنا المسيحين الشرفاء يطلعوا يتبرأوا من تظاهر بعض اقباط المهجر بالخارج امام البيت الابيض للاستقواء بالغرب pic.twitter.com/35hR90qqgZ
— 💢 نبض❤ مصر (@DDD777DDD19) August 2, 2016
A Christian user added: “Look at Pope Tawadros, condemning the Copts abroad and telling them they harm Egypt. Please stop this campaign that demonized them and equated them with the Muslim Brotherhood. Just stop it.”
البابا تاوضروس كبس اقباط المهجر وقالهم انتوا بتضروا مصر بعمايلكم … ياريت بقي حملة شيطنة اقباط المهجر وتشبيهم بالإخوان تهبط بقي 😏
— ANN (@ANNGirgis) August 3, 2016