The heads of the main churches in Israel released a statement Sunday strongly backing the hunger strike of the Palestinian security prisoners.
The Jerusalem Inter-Church Committee – representing the heads of the local Greek Orthodox, Coptic, Lutheran, Armenian, Anglican, and Catholic churches – declared that Palestinian prisoners are protesting "the inhuman treatment they are receiving in their prisons." The statement added that "the human dignity of the political prisoners must be recognized and respected
."Local Churches Back Prison StrikeHuman dignity, eh? Let's look at human dignity in the neighbourhood:
Religious Discrimination in Egypt:An 1856 Ottoman decree still in force requires non-Muslims to obtain what is now a presidential decree to build a place of worship
. The Ottoman decree also requires the President to approve permits for the repair of church facilities. As a result of these restrictions, some communities use private buildings and apartments for religious services.Discrimination against Christians exists.
There are no Christians serving as governors, university presidents, or deans. There are few Christians in the upper ranks of the security services and armed forces. Government discriminatory practices include:
Suspected statistical under-representation of the size of the Christian population
Bias against Christianity and Coptic history in the educational curriculums
Limited coverage of Christian subjects in the media
Failure to admit Christians into public university training programs for Arabic language teachers (because the curriculum involves study of the Koran)
Discrimination against Christians in the public sector
Discrimination against Christians in staff appointments to public universities.Oh, and human rights too, let's look at human rights in Egypt:
Prisons. Prison conditions remain poor. Government authorities reported the renovation or construction of 14 prisons during the past 6 years. Nonetheless, human rights groups report that overcrowding and unhealthy conditions continue. Cells are poorly ventilated, food is inadequate in quantity and nutritional value, drinking water often is polluted, and medical services are insufficient. Such conditions contribute to the spread of disease and epidemics. The use of torture and mistreatment in prisons continues to be common.
Freedom of speech. The Constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press; however, the Government partially restricts these rights.
Citizens openly speak their views on a wide range of political and social issues, including vigorous criticism of Government officials and policies, but generally avoid certain topics, such as direct criticism of the President.EgyptOk, now let's go back to criticizing Israel.