In my new surroundings, I’ve had opportunity to make a new friend. Gary,* an Egyptian immigrant in his 40s, is a security guard in the area and is a Coptic Christian. When he discovered that I knew a little bit about the history of the Copts and their present-day persecution, he almost jumped for joy, as I was the first American he had met in his five years in the USA who knew anything about that church or what has been happening to them.
Gary’s English is very good, but as our conversations gets more complicated, it’s becomes more difficult for him, of course. Well, his English is certainly a heck of a lot better than my Arabic—his native language. (Gary stressed that Egyptians had their own language but were forced to learn Arabic in order to function in the country.)
When I asked how he was adapting to America, he said that he and his wife were having a hard time, but his children had adapted quickly, as these things usually go. For him, that was the main reason to leave: to protect his children—all girls.
At first, he mispronounced the word ‘rapist,’ using a short ‘a’ sound instead of a long one; I helped him out.
I had read about the extermination and “ethnic” cleansing of the Church in Egypt, Syria and Iraq—along with the destruction of church buildings which had stood for nearly 2000 years–but hearing about these things from the mouth of a man who had seen it for himself, filled me with shame about the spoiled Christians in this country. Forget about the feminists, who are grateful for nothing; we Christians have had it so good for so long, that I don’t think most of us can wrap our minds around the kinds of Enemy attacks which our brothers and sisters in Christ are experiencing right this very second at the hands of the foot soldiers in the ascending New Caliphate.
In that spirit, I have begun to pray for the church that exists in Muslim-run countries and for Gary and his family specifically. Also I’m always ready to learn more about Church history and I hope you are, too.
*Not his real name; some minor details of his biography are changed.
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