Egypt has the second largest Christian population in the east. Since the Revolution in 2011, the Coptic Christians of Egypt have endured an unprecedented cycle of violence and the horror is progressing slowly but surely.
Persecution and extreme poverty are the daily lot of Egyptians who live on the outskirts of Sinai and in upper Egypt. Socio-economic problems, lack of education and high unemployment are pushing parents and children to hard work in the south of the country or to harvest or work as ragpickers in the slums of Cairo.
Since April 2016, SOS Christians in the East has provided an emergency response to the situation and has developed social support projects in Egyptian territory with the support of Pope Theodore II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Preaching of Saint Marc and all of Africa, as well as the Sisters of the Orthodox Congregation of Mary's Daughters.
In July 2016, walking in the footsteps of Sister Emmanuelle in Egypt, SOS Christians of the East set up a mission in Ezbet-El-Nakhl, one of the six slums in Cairo. Thanks to the help of the Orthodox Congregation of the Daughters of Mary, our volunteers are active on site throughout the summer, working with families, schools, sisters and parish sisters.
In Alexandria, the association provides financial support of up to 4000 euros for the nursery school, dedicated to poor children in the suburbs. In Dalja, it is involved in a project to rebuild the cultural centre for the Coptic community.
For two years in a row SOS volunteers went to al-Harif for summer camps. SOS Christians in the East has also participated in the purchase of a transport vehicle to facilitate the activities there.
Following the emergence of an Islamic State branch at the borders of Egypt, the threat to Christians and pre-existing intercommunal tensions are intensifying. The bloody and targeted attacks are increasing in the north of Sinai and in the al Arish region. Murders have become the daily lives for families. In 2017, there were 150 targeted attacks which resulted in at least 150 deaths, including many children and more than 200 injured.
As the rise of jihadists in Northern Sinai grows, more than 170 Coptic families have had to leave their homes and property to save their lives. They have taken refuge in Ismaïlya, bordering the Suez Canal. Although supported by the church and the authorities, the material conditions and the future of those families who have lost everything remains very uncertain. The Coptic community is already heavily tried, as again it plunges into horror.
SOS Christians in the East organises immediate emergency missions and transports several tons of food, water heaters and school equipment to assist these families.
Poverty extends to a large part of the Egyptian population so much so that some Christian families do not even have the means to celebrate Christmas. In anticipation of the holidays, 5 volunteers participated in the 2017 Christmas Mission with the Copts, providing speical food deliveries in one week to more than five Egyptian towns and villages as well as carrying out activities with the children there.
Due to the urgent demand, these operations will be repeated regularly.
Maps of the missions
A child, a life, a mission
Ezbet El-Nakhl is what can be called a "slum". A neighborhood built in haste where simple huts are the welcome homeplace of many poor Christian families from southern Egypt who come to Ca...