Aug 21 2013

Senator Blunt Condemns Deadly, Targeted Violence Against Coptic Christians In Egypt

Blunt Reiterates Calls For Congress To Pass Bipartisan Bill Promoting Religious Freedom, Protecting Religious Minorities Throughout Middle East

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amid continued deadly violence directed against Coptic Christians and other civilians in Egypt, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) called for Congress to pass bipartisan legislation aimed at promoting and protecting religious freedoms throughout the region.

Blunt’s bill, which would create a new U.S. Department of State special envoy for religious minorities in the Middle East, is co-sponsored by U.S. Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (Mich.), as well as U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Susan Collins (Maine), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Tim Scott (S.C.), and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.). To read the legislation, click here.

As FOX News recently reported, “Across Egypt, at least 60 churches have been targeted, along with Christian schools, homes, businesses and even an orphanage, according to conservative estimates.” National Review Online noted, “A dozen or so Christians have been attacked and killed for being Christian so far.” And the New York Times reported, “the army and the police made no attempt to intervene” as Egypt’s Coptic Christians “suddenly found themselves more threatened than before.”

“The continued violence against Coptic Christians and other civilians in Egypt is incredibly disturbing and flies in the face of the religious freedoms and fundamental values that Americans hold dear,” said Blunt. “I urge Majority Leader Reid to allow a vote on this bipartisan legislation, which would call attention to all religious minorities and demonstrate to leaders in the region that the United States takes religious freedom seriously.”

Blunt is one of three members to serve on both the defense authorizing and appropriations committees in the U.S. Senate. He also serves as a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, where he recently voted to subject 75 percent of U.S. aid to Egypt to certain constitutional reforms and elections.

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