WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Coptic Christians have been nominated for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for their refusal to retaliate against deadly and ongoing persecution from governments and terrorist groups in Egypt and elsewhere.
The Copts, who are the indigenous people of Egypt and number as many as 20 million around the world, have been the victims of centuries of violence and oppression for practicing their Christian faith, chiefly in Egypt.
Although organizations such as the Red Cross have won the Nobel Peace Prize, it has never been awarded to an ethno-religious group. This is believed to be the first time such a group has been so nominated.
The verified nomination was confirmed by Coptic Orphans, a U.S.-headquartered international development organization. The Norwegian Nobel Committee does not release the identities of nominees.
The recipient of the Peace Prize will be announced on October 5. The prize is awarded in December in Stockholm.
According to a 2018 report by the Christian charity, Open Doors, Christians in Egypt face “unprecedented levels of persecution.” Last year, according to the report, 128 Egyptian Christians were killed for their faith and more than 200 were driven out of their homes.
In 2011, Coptic Christians in Cairo, Egypt, staged a peaceful protest after their church was demolished. Protesters were attacked by security forces and the army, resulting in 28 deaths and more than 200 injuries. Over 80 Coptic churches and institutions were burned following the 2013 coup in Egypt. ISIS has vowed to exterminate the Coptic people, calling them their “favorite prey,” and in 2015 beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in Libya.
Despite this, Coptic Christians have consistently refused to retaliate and continue to practice peaceful coexistence. In recognition of this, Coptic Christians have been nominated for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.
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