What I'm reading this morning.
Egyptian Copts have been thrust into the global spotlight since a New Year’s attack on a Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt, killed more than 20 people. Though often overlooked in a predominantly Muslim region, the Coptic Orthodox Church is the main Christian denomination in Egypt, with more than 7 million Copts.
Recent attacks against Christians in Egypt and Iraq have drawn attention to the Middle East's Christian populations, which are dwindling as Christians flee violence, political strife, and persecution. Christians made up more than 20 percent of the region's population in the early 20th century, but today, they make up less than 10 percent. Here is a look at the status of Christians in seven key countries, from Egypt to Iran.
The Gaza tunnels, formerly a way to get Egyptian goods into Gaza, are now making some of their business sending goods, some of them Israeli, from Gaza to Egypt.
The Egyptian fiction industry, formerly overshadowed by Beirut and Baghdad, is booming and evolving to challenge norms and reflect a changing society.
Israeli officials said white phosphorus – an incendiary banned for offensive use under international law – was in two of nine mortar shells fired from Gaza into southern Israel. Israel itself has been accused of using the weapon in Gaza.