For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 22 Dec 2013.
As Christmas approaches, and Australians wish peace on earth and goodwill to all, in the El-Minya region of Upper Egypt mobs of Islamists are subjecting Christians to repeated violent attacks.
Reports suggest that Muslim Brotherhood supporters are looking for any excuse to attack Christians. Impunity is extended for Muslims in what amounts to a religious form of ethnic cleansing and there is no security for Christians.
In the Central African Republic, sectarian violence has escalated ahead of the French military peacekeeping deployment as “Christian” militias attack Muslims before the French can intervene. Muslim rebels have retaliated by attacking Christians, killing an estimated 400.
In Egypt and in the Central African Republic, churches could well be very vulnerable over the Christmas season. As we celebrate Christmas in Australia, spare a thought and a prayer for those who don’t enjoy our freedoms, and who won’t have a happy Christmas.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.