Swine Flu and Religious Persecution

Several media outlets are reporting that Egypt has ordered all pigs in the country to be slaughtered, out of concerns over swine flu. What does this have to do with religion? The Wall Street Journal has the best summary:

Egyptian human-rights activists have long complained of discrimination against Copts in education and in governmental hiring practices. The pork industry, a relatively small sector that caters to Christians and expatriates in Egypt, is one of the few businesses run exclusively by the Copts.

Pork is unclean in Islam, so the only pig farmers in Egypt are Christians. Sunday, the Christian farmers protested in the streets, and there is a danger of violence. Please be praying for the peace of Egypt, for reason to prevail (there is no evidence that humans can catch this flu directly from pigs), and for Christ to be lifted up.

2 thoughts on “Swine Flu and Religious Persecution

  1. I think this is about ignorance, not persecution. Look at the way we “enlightened” Americans freaked out over swine flu. You can’t blame their knee jerking on Islam. The executives over there have the same misguided fears as ours: do nothing and something goes wrong, they’re to blame; do something and nothing goes wrong, they’re heroes. Sadly, in the public’s perception, it doesn’t matter if nothing would have gone wrong, anyway.

  2. Sure, ignorance definitely plays a role. Ignorance plays a role in almost all forms of prejudice and discrimination. Knee-jerk responses are common the world over, and they often target religious and ethnic minorities.

    Take a look at the State Department’s report on religious freedom in Egypt. Are they the worst country in the world? By no means. But Christians and other minority religions have been consistently restricted and discriminated against.

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