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An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2017-12-22

Egypt's Coptic Christians live in fear of Islamist attacks

Egypt’s Coptic Christians have been the target of unprecedented attacks since the 2011 Arab Spring uprising. The election of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2012 saw an upsurge with dozens of churches vandalised and even set on fire. And the violence is only escalating. 2016 has seen a wave of terror attacks targeting this minority group who now live in fear for their lives.

Egypt'sCopts, the largest Christian community in the Middle East, have been a target since the 1970s. But it pales in comparison to what the community face today.

The administration of president Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in 2012 triggered the escalation: Coptic businesses were destroyed and a more radical tone was taken in mosques... Egypts Copts were even later accused of inciting the fall of Morsi. Traumatised by these events, they voted overwhelmingly for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the 2014 presidential election - a return to the traditional style regime which goes against the wishes of the country’s younger generation.

>> Read our article: Pope heads to Egypt to mend ties with Islam, reassure Christians

But the military regime did not prevent the Islamic State group from establishing a lasting presence in Egypt, or from increasing their attacks on the Copts. Several churches have been targeted by the extremists as worshippers celebrated Mass, including in Cairo and Alexandria.

In a country weakened by extremism, the Copts fear for the future.

Many have fled; but this community remains determined to battle for its place in Egypt’s multi-faith society.

>> Watch our report: Tahrir Square, a melting pot for Egyptian revolutions

By Jonathan WALSH

Archives

2018-08-03 Africa

Video: Super Mama Djombo, Guinea-Bissau’s soundtrack

Today, if the small West African state of Guinea Bissau is famous—or, perhaps more correctly, infamous—for anything, it’s for frequent coups d’état. But that hasn’t always been...

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2018-07-27 Africa

Video: Zimbabwe faces up to its painful past

After three decades of silence, people in Zimbabwe are finally speaking out about the brutal civil war that followed independence. It’s no longer taboo to mention the ethnic...

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2018-06-29 Americas

Video: Inside Nicaragua’s rebel stronghold of Masaya

More than 200 people have been killed in the unprecedented wave of unrest sweeping Nicaragua in recent months. In mid-April, plans for social security reform sparked protests and...

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2018-07-20 Americas

Video: Maracaibo, the story of Venezuela's collapse

Maracaibo is the second-largest city in Venezuela. Its residents face soaring inflation, widespread poverty and shortages. Under Hugo Chavez, Venezuela based its economy on oil...

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2018-07-13 Africa

Central African Republic: The way of the warlord

In the war-torn Central African Republic, former rebels who mounted a coup in 2013 are now dreaming of independence. FRANCE 24’s reporters James André and Anthony Fouchard went...

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