Egypt's Christian community has long been persecuted, with random violence carried out against their churches and businesses perpetrated by Islamist extremists. Now, in the remote village of Dalga, Coptic Christians are ordered to pay a special tax, a Jizya tax. Those who are unable to pay find themselves vulnerable to attack.
As referenced in the Koran 9:29, Jizya is the money, or tribute, that conquered non-Muslims historically had to pay to their Islamic overlords with willing submission and while feeling themselves subdued to safeguard their very existence.
(Catholic Online) - The Muslim Brotherhood, the discredited political party of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, along with its supporters have begun forcing the roughly 15,000 Christian Copts in Dalga to pay the jizya tax.
Father Yunis Shawqi, who spoke to reporters in Dalga, all Copts in the village, without exception, is being forced to pay the jizya tax.
"[The] value of the tribute and method of payment differ from one place to another in the village, so that, some are being expected to pay 200 Egyptian pounds per day, others 500 Egyptian pounds per day," Shawqi said, speaking through a translator.
Families unable to pay have been attacked, forcing as many as 40 Christian families from Dalga, Ibrahim said. Jizya taxes are far from unique to only Egypt. Syrian rebels reportedly went into a Christian man's shop and gave him three options: "become Muslim: pay $70,000 as a tax levied on non-Muslims, known as jizya: or be killed along with his family," the Christian Science Monitor reported.