President Barack Obama must increase pressure on the Egyptian interim government to protect Christians who have been violently targeted in the past couple of months, urges a letter sent by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on Monday (Sept. 16).
“I respectfully urge you to speak out clearly and forcefully about the unprecedented sectarian attacks committed against Christians in Egypt that proliferated at a frenetic pace on August 14 and the immediate days thereafter,” wrote USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George.
“It also is vitally important that the Egyptian interim government understands from you that it must promptly and thoroughly investigate violent incidents, prosecute perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law, and provide greater protections for Christians and their places of worship.”
While Obama has repeatedly spoken out against the violence in Egypt following the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi, Coptic Christians have found themselves targeted by Islamic mobs blaming them for taking part in the protests that led to the government change. Muslim Brotherhood-backed attacks on Christians resulted in fatalities, as well as burnt down churches, monasteries, Christian schools and book stores.
Both the Islamic protesters and the interim government have been blamed for using excessive force, which has led to thousands of Egyptians losing their lives, leading to a state of emergency in the African country.