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Christian teachers and parents in Egypt have reported that students are facing more frequent cases of discrimination for their faith.
Even though it is illegal in the country to discriminate against any religion, Egyptians students have had their rights constantly violated.
A Christian teacher in Cairo told Global Christian Relief that from a very young age the education in Egypt is strongly influenced by Islam and Christian students are often neglected in school curricula.
For example, Koranic texts and hadiths are used to teach Arabic and need to be memorized, but words or expressions that refer to the Bible are completely excluded. In addition, some schools organise religious competitions in which Christians cannot participate.
Here are some reports, from parents of Christian students, who experienced pressure in school relating to their faith:
“I have a ten-year-old son, who is a fourth-grade student. He is good at making announcements on the morning speaker, repeating wisdom and news to students in the school yard before they enter their classes.
One day, the Arabic teacher surprised him with a request that he did not understand at the time but hurt him. During class, his teacher asked him to read verses of the Qur’an from a book with her.”
My son was shocked and it appeared on his face. Before he could say a word, the teacher ordered: ‘You will read the Qur’an tomorrow in the morning school announcements.’ My son replied to her: ‘I’m a Christian. Can you choose someone else?’ She replied: ‘You are the one who will read the Qur’an, no one else’.
When my son told her he couldn’t do that, she insulted him and hit him. When my son came back from school, he told me what happened. I met the school principal the next morning, who had no choice but to apologise to us. Fortunately, he solved the problem correctly”.
Another mother reported:
“My son is in the sixth grade, The teacher of Islamic religion at his school is known for extremism. One of my son’s Muslim colleagues is a close friend and told him that when the Christian students left the classroom, the teacher instructed the students not to interact with their Christian colleagues.
He said not to make friends with any Christian because they are unfaithful and considered contaminated. The teacher also shared that their religion orders them to avoid contact with Christian students”.
There is a disparity in the country’s educational system, where students of all ages are persecuted and discriminated against, from primary schools to graduate school.
A Christian teacher expressed:
“The Egyptian government often chooses employees only from certain prestigious Muslim Universities and does not recognise the Christian College of Theology. This is a part of the reason why there are very few Christians in influential government positions.
In addition, there is a deficit of University jobs for Christians, as it is rare to have a Christian head of University department, director or professor at any public University.
Christians are demanding that school curricula be reviewed to ensure that they are free from insults to Christianity. We want schools to encourage students to accept and respect others.
We also recommend the introduction of mandatory subjects in public school to teach human rights. Our Christian history and culture should be taught in the Egyptian schools where our children study,” he said.
Egypt is one of many countries where the Christian faith is discriminated against and persecuted. However, in the UK, you are free to express and live your faith.
Why not take the chance you have to strengthen it by participating in our daily services – most specifically Wednesdays and Sundays?
In these meetings you will receive guidance towards a stronger and more intimate relationship with God, which will equip you for the battles you may face.
Personal issues such as problems in your health, or injustices, like being discriminated for your faith are all challenges that the Holy Spirit can help you to overcome.
In order to invest more in the Holy Spirit, at this moment, we are living the “Fast of Daniel, in the special edition “Before the Face of God”, which began on Sunday, 19 November and will run until Sunday, 10 December.
It is a sacrificial purpose of faith, where you abstain from all secular media and information in order to invest more time in the things of faith. It is an opportunity to reflect, self-analyse and hear the voice of God.