Copts denounce Trump faith team’s Cairo meeting
International | U.S. Evangelical Advisory Board met with Egyptian president and Protestant leaders amid attacks on Catholic believers
by Mindy Belz
Posted 11/10/17, 01:54 pm
EGYPT: A Coptic group says members of U.S. President Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board “have unwittingly become a useful tool” in meeting last week with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The meeting—which included author Joel C. Rosenberg, former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, and others—took place as 28 Copts were killed in an attack on a bus south of Cairo and authorities closed several churches, citing security concerns. Rosenberg told me Sisi “was very candid about the challenges that remain for all Egyptians, including Christians and other minorities.” The meeting included Egypt’s Protestant leaders but not Copts. In a statement released Wednesday, Coptic Solidarity said, “Those who have closely followed el-Sisi’s term as president recognize that while he says what he knows Western leaders expect him to say, he has failed to deliver in actions.”
VIETNAM: Trump is attending a Friday gala dinner for APEC nations in Danang that includes Russian President Vladimir Putin, though no formal meeting between the two leaders is scheduled. The president took a tough line on trade (in contrast to his softer stance in China), telling Asian leaders, “We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore.”
INDONESIA: Indonesia’s Constitutional Court unanimously held that it was unconstitutional to require citizens to identify as Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, or Confucian on their national identification cards—a “major advance” in religious freedom, according to Hudson Institute expert Paul Marshall. Religion on identity cards originated in the Ottoman era and majority groups have used the designation as a vehicle for discriminating against minority religious adherents.
SYRIA: Western powers want to continue a UN inquiry into the Bashar al-Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons after the panel in late October issued a report saying it was “confident” Assad’s air force perpetrated the April Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack. But the investigators were not allowed to visit the actual site and had to rely on interviews with witnesses and collected data. Russia, Syria’s chief ally, has used those gaps to ridicule the report and press to end the panel’s mandate.
NIGERIA: One way Muslim authorities are throttling Christians in northern Nigeria is by not allowing them to rebuild destroyed churches—in this case eight church buildings burned a decade ago.
AMERICA: Here’s a look at the rapidly aging West.
WEEKEND READ: Martin Luther gave us a moment of “exquisite clarification,” writes Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president and WORLD board member Albert Mohler, and those points are worth remembering in a week including an attack on an American church and looking to another International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on Sunday.
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