Hussam Tammam is an Egyptian researcher who usually focuses on his nation’s Islamist movements — and he sees nuance where some see threat. Many are defying religious leaders linked with the regime, including those in the country’s relatively sizable Christian minority. Read the fascinating quote, then follow the link and read the whole article:
The position of the most prominent Christian religious institution, the Coptic Church, has been the most
blatantly biased toward the regime. Pope Shenouda opposed the 25 January protests and called on Copts not to participate. He maintained this position throughout the revolution, openly declaring his support for Mubarak. Many Copts still took to the streets, refusing to abide by the Pope’s directives. The revolution came as Copts had been mounting the biggest challenge of the Church and its monopoly over the representation of Egypt’s Christians. Tens of articles were being written over the last few months arguing that Christian voices must be heard outside the Church, in political parties and programs. The participation of Christians, especially Christian youth, in these protests constitutes another revolution–one that is directed against the Church that has used a sectarian discourse to isolate Copts from the street and to rally Christians behind Mubarak’s regime on grounds that it offers guarantees to the Christian community.