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Rome Reports

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The Arab Spring: Why some Christians are frustrated and even scared

The community of Sant Egidio in Rome, invited key politicians, activists and professors to talk about the past, present and future of the Arab Spring. ; It included people from Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Irak and the Holy Land. Fr. Pierbattista PizzaballaCustodian of the Holy Land (Israel)“The Islamic movement will have an important role in the building of these societies that are more than 90 percent Muslim, so we have to deal with this fact and the dialogue is important because that will help us have relations with the moderate Muslims and put aside, in the corner fundamentalism, Islamic movements.”During this transition, perhaps Egypt has received the most media attention. Especially after at least 26 Coptic Christians were killed in November, in a conflict with the military. ; In Egypt it?s illegal for Muslims to convert to Christianity. Reports show in the past, some have been arrested and even hospitalized for converting. ;Sameh FawzyDialogue Forum ?Bibliotheca Alexandrina? (Egypt)“We also have to come up with a certain legal framework, organizing conversion from one religion to another.”The actual building of churches has also been a point of controversy. For years, the government limited their construction-the issue is still problematic. Sameh FawzyDialogue Forum ?Bibliotheca Alexandrina? (Egypt)“When we speak about the relationship between Muslims and Christians we have to apply law, stick to the law. Issues related to building and rebuilding churches, or worship places in general, which is a genuine problem in Egypt for decades, should stick to the law, we have to apply the law.” When it comes to actually establishing a new government, Fawzy said it must be established by its own citizens without the influence of other countries. KLH AM--PR