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Religious Violence in Egypt Deeply Disturbing Rabbi Saperstein: "We also call on the government to protect all the citizens of Egypt, but especially religious minorities like the Coptic Orthodox Christians, and use its new found power to bring about a modern, democratic, and just Egyptian society that the citizens have called for."
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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 16, 2011 -- In response to the religious violence in Egypt this past week, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We are saddened and disturbed by the religious violence between Christians and Muslims in Egypt this past week. The successful effort of the citizenry of Egypt to bring about political reform and expansion of fundamental freedoms depends on the creation of an environment of pluralism, tolerance, and the respect for fundamental rights for every citizen. These latest attacks cause us great concern for the future of this effort.
The attacks at the St. Mina church and the Church of the Virgin Mary in Cairo by Islamic extremists and the several Christian-owned shops that were attacked and looted are unacceptable. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of the more than a dozen Christians and Muslims who were killed and more than 200 people who were injured.
We call on the Egyptian government to conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that those who are responsible, including political, military and religious leaders, are held accountable through fair and open legal proceedings. We also call on the government to protect all the citizens of Egypt, but especially religious minorities like the Coptic Orthodox Christians, and use its new found power to bring about a modern, democratic, and just Egyptian society that the citizens have called for.