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Coptic Christians escape religious persecution in Egypt

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Selvana Awad is a Coptic Orthodox Christian, which made her recent trip home to family in Egypt very frightening.

The cross that Coptic Christians tattoo on their wrists as a sign of their faith had to be covered up. Her gold cross necklace could also not be worn in public.

The Christian minority in Egypt was glad to see President Morsi ousted, but Muslim Brotherhood supporters say it undermines democracy there – and some started to rally angry threats against Christians.

At St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Fairfax -- the largest in the D.C. metro area with nearly 4,000 members -- Father Paul Girguis says he is seeing 20 to 30 new families a month fleeing religious persecution in Egypt.

“It's painful to know that our brothers and sisters in Egypt can't live, and when they come here they struggle just as much, because they're starting without language, without a foundation,” says Father Paul.

Constitution in Egypt was leaning toward Sharia Law, which means converts to Christianity would be killed.

“Every family is trying to bring over one family member,” says Father Paul. “Our church could potentially double in the next year or two.”

 

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