For Christians in Egypt 2013 has been another momentous year, with the overthrow of its second president in as many years; the removal from power of the Muslim Brotherhood and the suspension of the constitution which they imposed on Egypt as recently as December 2012. It shortcomings were blatantly obvious and, thanks to the popular uprising and the support of the Armed Forces, it was to last no more than six months. As Egypt underwent its second revolution, Christians – who had suffered a steep increase in sectarian violence – became the focus for the frustration and hatred of the Brotherhood in an unprecedented outburst of terror and destruction, unknown since the Mamluk persecutions of the eighteenth century.
Revolutions are destabilising events and come in many shapes and sizes. The Egyptian revolution of 1952 was a military coup by the Free Officer Movement, which established the military regime which was to hold power for the next 59 years. It lacked democratic legitimacy and was both corrupt and venal. The 2011 Revolution, however, was a popular uprising, more in keeping with the spirit of the 1919 Egyptian revolution in its embracing all sections of Egyptian society in a patriotic movement to restore freedom and justice. It is worth noting that initially the Muslim Brotherhood declined to support this uprising, but once it saw the rapid success of this momentum for change, it offered its support.