Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Coptic Orthodox Tattoo
This is a picture of a Coptic Cross Tattoo on the wrist of a friend of mine named Paul. Paul got this tattoo at the age of 13 while living in Egypt. It is a sign of pride and defiance given by the Coptic Orthodox Church and worn by its members in a predominantly Islamic county. Apparently, getting caught with this tattoo guarantees the bearer harsher treatment by the government. Coptic Christians have been getting this tattoo for generations, and although Paul’s tattoo is old and faded, at one time it was a vibrant depiction of the Coptic Cross. Paul mentioned that a few generations ago, Coptic Christians would get this same tattoo on their foreheads. I found a picture here.
Paul and I talked about the brutal murder of Egyptian born Coptic Christian Hossam Armanious and his family a few days ago. Paul said something that chilled my bones; “Stuff like this happens everyday in Egypt, and is happening now in Dalfur. Nobody cares."
I’ve posted on the Armanious murder here and here. The latest news release says that the killers did not deface Coptic Christian artifacts nor did they deface their tattoos. There is some hope that this was not a hate crime.