More than 20 Coptic families are facing forced return to Egypt by Australia after Minister of Immigration Peter Dutton chose not to intervene in the decision. There are some 80,000 Coptic Christians in Australia.
Copts in Egypt face attacks by Daesh – the latest being on Friday when 28 were killed by gunmen who opened fire on a bus travelling to a monastery in Minya south of Cairo – a government who are doing little to protect them, and discrimination by society who block Christians from getting top jobs.
Writing in ABC News Anba Suriel, Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Melbourne, said he was genuinely concerned that Copts will face further, unprovoked attacks if they are forced to return to Egypt.
“Many of these families have lived, worked and volunteered within our society for several years and some have children born in Australia. Forcing parents and young children into such dangers is unacceptable and we must raise our voices to help our brothers and sisters,” said Suriel, adding:
“These families have genuine fears of returning back and our community fears for them. As a peace-loving community and valuable contributors to Australian society, I feel that we deserve to be treated better than this.”