No reading from the Qur’an today.  Instead I just had to share this story from friend, co-worker and commenter Kelly Dahlberg, one whose global consciousness is great!  Thanks for sharing!  It seems this little blog really can be communal.

I won’t pretend to understand all that is going on in Cairo as people rise up to protest the corruption of the government of Egypt led by President Hosni Mubarak.  What I do know is that it is immensely sad and the photos are heart-wrenching.  However, a story is coming out of all the chaos in Egypt of charity between Muslims and Christians.  Maybe you have seen it.     

Coptic Christians, an Orthodox group of Christians native to Egypt practically since the time of Christ, make up 10% of Egypt, a predominantly Muslim country.  Egypt has been known for being progressive, but pockets of extremist Muslims call Egypt home as well.  The Copts have often been the victims of antagonism and even violence throughout history. 

A year ago, eight Copts were killed in a drive-by shooting as they left a church in southern Egypt after a Christmas Eve mass.  Coptic Christians observe the Orthodox date for Christmas, January 7.  Then this year, on New Year’s Eve, a violent attack on the Saints Church in Alexandria left 21 Coptic Christians dead. 

What happened next is the amazing part.  Mohamed El-Sawy, an art tycoon, started an organization called “Egypt for All.”  In an incredible wave of solidarity between Muslims and Christians, at El-Sawy’s encouragement, many of Egypt’s four million Facebook members changed their profile pictures to the “Egypt for All” logo, a cross inside of the well-known Islamic crescent.  Then, on January 6, this year’s Orthodox Christmas Eve thousands of Muslims held candlelight vigils outside Coptic Churches throughout Egypt offering themselves as “human shields” to the Christians inside as they held mass.  El-Sawy was quoted as saying, “We either live together, or die together.”  Read more about it here.   

If that were all, that would be an amazing story.  But there is more.  Now, a month later, it seems the Christians are returning the favor.  Today’s photo of the day on shows Christians joining the crowd of men “shielding” Muslims in Cairo as they pray amidst the protests and government attacks. 

Photo Courtesy: @NevineZaki

There are significant differences between Muslims and Christians, though not as many as I thought there might be.  But with actions like these we can begin to actually talk to each other about them.