“Yana Dropped Off First”: Vanishing Pagans of Egypt and Syria

To begin with, there were just a handful of them. And some are going silent, as Cara Schulz writes for the Pagan Newswire Collective:

The situation in Syria appears to be more grave, according to the last messages I received from the five Pagans I chat with regularly.  They spoke of the fighting and how places looked like Beirut,  buildings just shells of themselves, rubble blocking the streets.  They detailed neighbors going missing.  Islamic fundamentalist patrols that monitor behavior and took violent action against people who violated rules and customs. They debated fleeing, worried about being outed as a Pagan, and started destroying or burying altars.  Three began attending local mosques to show their devotion to Islam.

I would bet that in a generation, even the Egyptian Christians will be gone, off to North America or somewhere else. I have even met a few in my area — and we see very few Middle Easterners. In this case, it was the family coming to visit their daughter who had married an American and then moved with him to this area — and then I heard that they were still in the United States. Trying for political asylum?

2 Comments

  1. We’re seeing some very sad things in the Arab world in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, as it becomes ever clearer that the uprisings have all too often played into the hands of Islamists and other reactionary elements. I’m sure I speak for many other westerners when I express my sympathy and best wishes to those Syrian Pagans, and any other threatened minorities in the region, who are caught in the middle of this horror and who might be reading this blog.

  2. fannyfae says:

    Things are very scary in Egypt right now, and Salifi Muslims are wanting to completely obliterate the Pharaonic histories. Such is the case in the Dashur area recently. However, the new government must be careful. The largest percentage of their GDP comes from tourism, so I suspect that Egypt will remain a more secular country.

    As for the Coptic (Egyptian) Christians, they may very well migrate elsewhere, the climate in Egypt has always been very tenuous for them. I will tak with an egyptologist friend whose speciality is Coptic literature, etc. and see what she thinks.