Some Egyptian Christians think U.S. is on wrong side

A Coptic Orthodox bishop prays with local residents at a damaged evangelical church in Minya, Egypt, Aug. 26. Egypt's military and interim government have blamed all the attacks on Christian properties on the Muslim Brotherhood, calling them the

CNS PHOTO | LOUAFI LARBI, REUTERS

A Coptic Orthodox bishop prays with local residents at a damaged evangelical church in Minya, Egypt, Aug. 26. Egypt's military and interim government have blamed all the attacks on Christian properties on the Muslim Brotherhood, calling them the "work of terrorists."

September 9, 2013

Two weeks after the churches he used to pray in were ransacked and burned to the ground in the Egyptian port city of Suez, Istafanos Youssif sat "searching for God" in a Cairo convent.

He said he hoped to get over the pain, through "reflection and prayer," and that he understood who was behind the church burnings.

What he said he could not understand was the U.S. position toward his country, Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood "only has one goal, either to rule the country, or burn it.

"We love the American people, but not what (U.S. President Barack) Obama is doing. He is supporting the Brotherhood, the terrorists," said Youssif, a university student and member of Egypt's Coptic Catholic community.

Since the military's overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in early July, many Christians in Cairo told Catholic News Service the United States is taking the wrong side, with some, like 21-year-old Youssif, even accusing Washington of openly supporting terrorism.