Human Rights Organization for Egyptian Christians in the United States to be Headquartered in Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, August 2, 2006-
The Coptic Assembly of America (CAA) is proud to announce the launch of its organization to promote the furtherance of equality, human rights and democracy in Egypt. CAA will work with like-minded groups, including human rights organizations, religious organizations and moderate Muslims on behalf of all Egyptian Christians. Its offices will be located in the Chicago metropolitan area.
CAA is also happy to announce its partnership with the Leadership Council for Human Rights (LCHR) of Washington, D.C. This relationship was born out of friendship and a shared commitment to help all Egyptian Christians between Mrs. Hoda Halim, CAA Board member, and LCHR President, Ms. Kathryn Cameron Porter.
In a written statement, CAA Chairman Mr. Cameel Halim said, “This organization is a new beginning in the Coptic struggle. CAA was formed to mobilize American Copts politically and to encourage them to participate in the democratic process in America – by voting, contacting their Representatives and organizing their community. CAA is also dedicated to educating the American people and their governmental representatives about the plight of Egypt’s 10 million oppressed Coptic Christians who are openly discriminated against and treated as second-class citizens.”
The CAA will provide a unifying and inclusive voice for the Coptic people in the United States through activism, advocacy, education, training and communication. Based in Chicago, this organization seeks to mobilize the approximately 600,000 American Copts from California to New York and from Florida to Minnesota.
In working with the CAA, the LCHR will further its mission to encourage and promote information and action campaigns on the behalf of ethnic and religious persecuted peoples, providing assistance to organizations and individuals under threat. Ms. Porter commented, “By working at a grassroots level, we can reach out to American Copts in a new and effective way which will provide them with a solid platform from which to voice their concerns to decision makers. Through human rights networking, the Coptic Assembly of America will allow the international Coptic community to make the case for the suffering Copts of Egypt, who on their own lack the power to end state sponsored religious discrimination.”
The CAA website at copticassembly.org will serve as a tool to help Copts around the country connect with each other. The website will be a central resource for Copts to educate themselves about issues important to the Coptic community, communicate with decision makers in Washington, D.C. and take action on current legislation. It will also host a bi-weekly newsletter covering events in D.C. and the Coptic community around the world.
Copts are the Orthodox Christians of Egypt and comprise approximately 12% of Egypt’s population of 77.5 million. Coptic Christianity is one of the religion’s oldest branches and originated in Egypt in approximately 42 C.E. Copts have lived in Egypt for almost 2,000 years and have basically coexisted peacefully with their Islamic neighbors since the rise of Islam in the 7the century.