Since the uprising that ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, sporadic but intense sectarian demonstrations across Egypt reflect rising fears in Egypt’s Coptic community (which make up an estimated 5 to 10 percent of Egypt’s total population) that the uprising has empowered a predominantly Muslim Egyptian society that is at best indifferent to the Christian minority’s concerns.
With a president who staunchly hails from the Muslim Brotherhood and a new constitution that critics say offers religious minorities, especially Copts, little to no assurances, existential fear has pervaded villages like the Labib family's.
Christians in Egypt, especially in the rural south, have long complained of systemic discrimination and violence. Among a laundry list of grievances, critics say Copts are woefully underrepresented in Egypt’s military, judiciary, diplomatic corps, academia and almost all electoral bodies. Christians face state-imposed restrictions on the right to build and maintain churches, regulations that Muslims don’t face when building mosques.