A good news story about Muslims + Christians together
Thanks to Fr. Ray Blake for the hat tip. It makes a change to hear a positive news report about relations between Muslims and Christians, though the wonderful film "Of Gods And Men" seems to have done a lot of good work to bring Muslims + Christians together in places like France (its country of origin) where it was a massive box office hit.
Muslims protect churches
Muslims offered themselves as "human shields" on Friday to protect Coptic Christians celebrating their Christmas in Egypt just a week after a church bombing that killed 21 people.
Armoured cars were also stationed near churches filled for Christmas services and drivers were banned from parking in front of churches, which were being tightly monitored by explosives detection teams and police, said a police official.
Under the Coptic calendar, Christmas Day falls on Jan. 7.
Dozens of police were deployed around the Saints Church in Alexandria which was targeted in Saturday's attack.
Security officials said at least 70,000 officers and conscripts had been deployed across the country to secure churches as Copts, who account for 10% of Egypt's 80-million population, attended mass.
Egypt's Ahramonline reported that droves of Muslims had turned up at Coptic churches to act as "human shields."
It quoted Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon credited with first floating the "human shield" idea, as saying, "We either live together, or we die together."
"This is not about us and them," Dalia Mustafa, a student who attended mass at Virgin Mary Church on Maraashly, told Ahramonline.
"We are one. This was an attack on Egypt as a whole, and I am standing with the Copts because the only way things will change in this country is if we come together."
The Daily News Egypt reported that the front pew at a church in the Cairo district of Omraneya was filled with prominent Muslims from the neighborhood.
In his sermon, Father Hanna thanked the Muslims for attending.
"This is the way our Egypt climbs new heights and become prosperous," the paper quoted Father Hanna as saying.
At the Cleopatra Church in Heliopolis Khaled, a Muslim attendee, said, "It's an honor to be among you today and [to] celebrate [Coptic] Christmas with you."
On Thursday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's two sons Alaa and Gamal attended a Christmas Eve mass at Saint Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, where the head of the Coptic Church, Pope Shenuda III, conducted the service.
On Friday, about 100 opposition group members in Cairo gathered in a demonstration of solidarity with the Copts.
"One people, one blood," they chanted...
You can read the rest of the article here