In the wake of the sad incident in which a policeman assigned to guard the Church of the Holy Renaissance in Minya province, opened fire on a Coptic contractor and his son, there were many comments on social media including one that surprised me. The comment suggested the replacement of government guard of the churches by private escorts from security companies to ease the burden on the state and avoid the obsession of security personnel.
Such suggestion may have came based on good intentions, but I refused it for several reasons. First, the Church is an Egyptian national institution, and the state is entrusted with guarding and protecting its people through the Egyptian police and the national security apparatuses. Second, the suggestion to replace the government guard with private escorts from security companies reflects a completely inappropriate sectarian classification. We all know that there are those who hold radical and extremist ideologies from various professions and trades, including private security companies. Third: As for relieving the burden on the state, it is the responsibility of the state to protect its citizens and churches, especially under the war on terror.On the other hand, it is impossible to provide guards from the private security companies of all churches in all governorates of Egypt, especially in the nights of holidays, where millions of Christians pray and celebrate holidays throughout the country. Above all, the budgets of churches that rely on donations can not cover the expense of private security.
We don t need to change security guard, but we need to change their ideology and culture. We are in dire need to change the religious discourse and other aspects of our culture. If so, we will not need any escorts at all.