On New Year’s Day of 2011, in Egypt, Religious tension rose after a terrorist bombing at a Coptic church — which killed 21 people and injured 79 others. Even though the identity of the culprits was not identified, Copts assumed that they were Muslim extremists. The angry Copts then flooded the streets and vandalized a nearby mosque. The riots and amplified tensions between the Muslim and Coptic communities was likely what the terrorists wanted — to divide the Egyptian community and create sectarian strife between different religious groups.
Yet on Coptic Christmas Eve, few days later, Thousands of Egyptian Muslims showed up in Coptic churches all around the country and offered themselves as ‘human shields’ to protect Coptic Christians on their holy day.
“I know it might not be safe, yet it’s either we live together, or we die together, we are all Egyptians.” Cherine Mohamed, a 50-year-old Egyptian housewife, said.
A movement led by Muslim leaders, journalists and mostly civilians.
We dedicate this article to people who are taking initiative to protect religious freedom, which government officials in Egypt and other Muslim-majority countries have often failed to do. We salute you all!