The Exodus provided Bob Marley with one of his greatest songs but the actual event in Egypt, which occurred around (1312 BCE), some cost the country some serious coin. When the persecuted Hebrews left Egypt, they took took gold, silver, clothes, as well as significant human resources.
And now it's happening again! Not with the Hebrews, mind you, but the Coptic Christians who are fleeing the country.
According to one source, $US500 million leaves Egypt each week, a potentially fatal siphonage that started with the Revolution earlier this year. I am curious to know how much of that money is connected to the flight of persecuted Coptic Christians.
So I asked Wally, one of my Christian friends who lives in Cairo, to give me the skinny.
TSK: Wally, I know a lot of wealthy businesspeople are leaving Egypt, and some foreign investment is drying up, but how much of that capital flight is Coptic Christians leaving Egypt to escape persecution from fundamentalists?
WALLY: My guess is much of the capital flight is in the form of Christians who are leaving Egypt at a fast rate...because they were traditionally blocked from government and the military, Egypt's believers moved into business...their strong values of honesty and the like saw them thrive and dominate the sector (such is the Christian reputation for being above corruption that believers usually have the job handling finances in government and private companies/agencies)...anyway, as they relocate they're taking their finances with them.
TSK: What's up with all this violence?
WALLY: I think you are all aware that anti-Coptic attacks have happened with increasing frequency in recent years - and things have accelerated post-revolution...with 80 dead [this year] and multiple churches attacked and destroyed in many parts of the nation (including Cairo)...a recent attack in Aswan saw the local governor side with the attackers prompting sit-ins by local Copts in Aswan demanding his removal...the protestors in Cairo were targeting the state tv offices because, in addition to the church attacks, state tv has been broadcasting anti-Coptic propaganda which the Copts say is inciting hatred against them...
TSK: I heard the Copts were armed also . .
WALLY: The official story is that some Copts were armed and shot at police, killing three and prompting the army to be called in...the armoured personnel carriers driven into the crowds were driven by people who 'stole' them and not soldiers...and no live ammo was fired at protestors...26 died (including the three military police)...
TSK: But . . .
WALLY: But . .. the truth (as confirmed by video footage, photographs of the scene, eyewitness accounts from independent Western witnesses and locals of both Coptic and Muslim stripe and physical evidence such as bullet casings) is: closer to 52 died (and likely 0 soldiers) with many bodies delivered directly to families and not taken to the Coptic hospital and some bodies apparently dumped in the Nile to hide the scale of the carnage...live ammo was fired in addition to blanks, snipers were used (given very accurate head shots in many shot dead), the APCs were driven by soldiers (don't know if it was a direct order but I suspect so) as evidenced by video footage showing soldiers looking out of the top of the APCs and one soldier whose APC stopped in its tracks trying to get out and being set upon by angry Copts (after he killed some of their number) only to be protected by a Coptic priest (in a powerful christlike act) and led to safety...also, state TV broadcast a message saying Copts were killing soldiers and loyal Muslims should come to the scene and help the troops...some responded and Copts who found themselves on the wrong side of the groupings of crowds were set upon by the Muslim civvies and taken into side alleys to be dealt with (fatally, we can presume)...
TSK: So how can we pray for you all?
WALLY: I went to a prayer meeting last night and it was good: we prayed for believers - that they would not desire revenge (before the attacks one Copt told me his people were ALREADY so angry they believed they needed to take matters into their own hands), and for the national military council running the country.
TSK: Hey Wally, I would like to talk more. And maybe some readers have questions for you also. Talk soon. Thanks for your perspective.
Related: TSK on Coptic shooting and meeting Bishop Damian and I am following Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad - he just passed day 50 of his hunger strike and his family are worried.