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It also claims to be a response to the alleged treatment of Camilla Shehata, the wife of a Coptic priest whose alleged conversion in 2010 sparked a sectarian dispute.Isis, also known as the Islamic State, claim that the woman was held against her will, post conversion.
In the early 19th century their position improved dramatically under the stable rule of Muhammad Ali, however, the situation went south (again) in 1952 when Gasser Abdel Nasser came to power. By this point the Copts were one of the most economically powerful groups in Egypt, but this did not prevent Nasser undermining their religion (by closing religious courts, delaying church constructions and confiscating land and Church properties).There have also been infrequent examples of local Muslim communities accusing Copts of various offences and acting outside of the law. Copts form the largest Christian minority in the country, with an estimated 60,000 living there, but their status is increasingly precarious.There has been little redress for these Copts, with many claiming authorities turned a blind eye to their complaints. The country's descent into civil war and chaos following the collapse of Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi’s dictatorship has seen the nation riven by rival extremist factions, with the government having little control.However, many Copts continue to leave in hope of better economic prospects.The father of a man held by Isis responded to a question on Egyptian TV on why would he leave, with: "Why would he stay in Egypt?"Mr Elmessiry said the economic situation within Egypt was the biggest single motivation for Copts to leave, but added this was not unique.
Many Muslims had also travelled in an attempt to find work. Prior to the purported executions many of the families of those abducted had staged protests accusing the president of failing to act.
In 2013 an Amnesty International report condemned internal security forces for failing to protect Christian churches, schools, and charity buildings from an angry mob in the wake of the dispersal of two pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo.
The former elected president was deposed by present leader Addel-Fattah al-Sisi in 2013.
My boyfriend, who is also an atheist was born into a Christian family," a 25-year-old female who spoke under the condition of anonymity said.
Coptic Christians in Egypt are known to often be very religious, holding tightly to their faith.
There have been some prominent Copts, the most well-known is probably Boutros Boutros Ghali who served as the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations. There have been a number of other reported incidents – involving other extremist groups such as Ansar al-Sharia – of violence against Copts in the country.