TWELVE Christian were murdered in Egypt. Two hundred and thirty-two people wounded. The death toll will surely rise as victims succumb to their injuries. And that's just in the past few days. In the same time period, more Christians were killed in Egypt at the hands of Muslims than people killed in Syria or in Libya as a result of protests, riots and resistance.
Two churches in Cairo were burned in recent days. Over the past few months church property has being gutted, vandalised and violated with graffiti. Churches have been blown up.
An entire community - the Christian community in the new Egypt - is under attack. And the world remains relatively silent. There has been no significant religious outcry, political redress or diplomatic pressure to stop the attacks. There has been almost no media coverage as Egypt's Muslims systematically, over the past few months, set about massacring Egypt's Christians.
The world is not only standing idly by, it is enabling the massacre. The US naively expects that a new era, begun in new Egypt, will ripple to the rest of the Islamic world. So in the midst of these monstrous mass murders in Egypt, the US has decided to send an extra $US1 billion to help the Egyptians ease the economic crisis that emerged as a result of the ousting of Hosni Mubarak on February 11. Muslims in Egypt are on the warpath - on the religious warpath - and the US is feeding them money.
This most recent round of Christian murders began with the rumour that Christians had kidnapped a Christian woman who had converted to Islam. According to the rumour, the woman was being held in the cellar of one of the churches and Christians were brainwashing her back to Christianity. Egyptian Muslims set out to find this woman. Along the way they murdered, pillaged and burned.
The rumours were not true. There was no kidnapping. But there are two burned churches and 12 murdered Christians.
Threats against Christians have become a near daily event since Christmas. On New Year's Day 21 Christians were killed in a church bombing in the ancient port city of Alexandria. Alexandria has a long history of multiculturalism, it should have, and could have, been a model city where Christians, Muslims and even Jews lived together harmoniously. Statistically, there are no longer any Jews in Egypt, but there are still seven million Christians. Instead, Alexandria has become a symbol of attacking Christians. Do not for a moment think that the date January 1 was an accident - the church was bombed in the middle of holiday mass. No one has been prosecuted. .
A year earlier, on January 7, Coptic Christmas, seven people were killed as they left mass. Six were Christian worshippers, the seventh victim was a Muslim guard. In this case someone was actually arrested.
The ugliest of all Muslim attacks against Christians took place on March 9. On that day 1500 Muslims stormed the Christian community in a modern pogrom. Thirteen people died, 45 were seriously injured, 150 moderately injured. The Egyptians put a military blackout over the material, but the Assyrian International News Agency reported the carnage.
Egypt's Christians are a minority living in a Muslim majority. Coptic Christians are a very successful minority. When Gamal Abdel Nasser took over as ruler, the Copts were 10 per cent of the country and owned 50 per cent of the wealth. In Alexandria, where the Copts still own 50 per cent of the businesses, attacks on Copts are perpetrated by Muslims. Fear of the unknown feeds these murders and fuels the mob that unleashes a fury of hate.
Why has the new Egypt done almost nothing to prevent, protect or prosecute?
Because in their culture, no wrong has been committed. In many of the cases the army was actually present when these attacks took place and the perpetrators took refuge behind army tanks.
In Egypt there exists a cultural norm that sometimes seems to permit killing someone with whom you disagree.. The Western world must insist that if Egypt wishes to get foreign aid, that norm must change.
The history of Christianity in Egypt dates back to the birth of Jesus. Matthew 2:13 describes Joseph and Mary taking Jesus to Egypt to escape the "massacre of the infants". Egypt has historical and religious significance for Christians. And now Egypt also has blood libels against Christians.
Micah D. Halpern's latest book is Thugs: How History's Most Notorious Despots Transformed the World through Terror, Tyranny, and Mass Murder (Thomas Nelson).