WOODBURY, N.Y. (CBS 2) – A small, early-morning service at St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Woodbury, Long Island was sparsely attended but filled with an air of cautious optimism and concern over the events unfolding in Cairo, Jay Dow reports.
There are some 350 Christian-Egyptian families in the congregation and most, if not all, still have family in their native country.
Father George Tadros said his members know what they have to do. “We have to pray very much. We’re doing that, a lot of prayers.”
Tadros said his relatives have been fortunate enough to keep in touch via cell phone, but it hasn’t been easy. He recalls a recent conversation that was interrupted by a band of thugs trying to kick in the front door of the home, which is not located on the streets of downtown Cairo but in the suburbs.
“For us, as Christians, we believe that God is taking care of our people and he is protecting them,” Tadros said.
“My family feels very insecure in Egypt,” said Father Moses Makram.
“It’s a very complicated matter,” said Parishioner Wageeh Soliman, who left his native Egypt 40 years ago. Although he supports President Hosni Mubarak, the Long Island resident doesn’t let long time leader off the hook for Egypt’s problems.
“Very much so, yes. I do fault him. He should have done much more to the corruption to straighten everything,” he said.
The consensus at the church: Egypt’s crisis, while worrisome, is one that must be allowed to run its course.