VIDEO: Rep. Hill Advocates for Supporting Religious Freedom of Coptic Christians in Egypt

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Congressman French Hill (AR-02) participated in a House Committee on Foreign Affairs Member Day hearing where he advocated for passage of his legislation, H.Res.49, expressing support for Coptic Christians and religious liberty in Egypt.

Click HERE or on the picture below to watch Congressman Hill's remarks from Thursday's House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

Highlights of Congressman Hill's remarks as prepared for delivery:

I appreciate the opportunity to testify in front of you today about my resolution, H.Res.49, Supporting Coptic Christians in Egypt, which has a diverse and bipartisan coalition of members that cosponsor it. My Democratic lead on H.Res. 49 is my friend and Foreign Affairs Committee member, David Cicilline of Rhode Island. My resolution currently has 71 cosponsors, including 25 from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

I introduced this resolution in the 115th Congress following a 2017 visit to Egypt, and while preparing for the trip, visiting the country, and returning home, I repeatedly heard about the plight of the Coptic Christians in Egypt. Although the Copts have been victims of numerous terrorist attacks by groups like ISIS, what is most disturbing to me is the attacks against Copts carried out by their fellow Egyptians.

Our country and our citizens over the generations have worked mightily to live up to the values and unalienable rights granted us by God above and enshrined in our founding documents, especially the vocal support of free expression abroad, particularly in the form of advocacy for religious tolerance and freedom; the rule of law; human rights; and education for women and minorities.

These are fundamental tenets of our foreign policy. In my work on this resolution here in the House, I continue to give voice to this very American ideal of religious tolerance. Likewise, I've met with religious leaders from all across the Levant from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Jerusalem with an eye towards better shaping American and allied support of Christians and other persecuted religious minorities.

I have great respect for Egyptian President Sisi, and I applaud the changes and message that he has made in the area of religious tolerance. He continues to say and do the right things at the top level of government. However, I believe there is more to do, and as the second highest receiver of annual American military aid in the world, the United States Government must use the tools we have to hold our allies, like Egypt, to a higher standard if they are to continue to receive our aid.

It is in that regard, that I believe one vehicle readily available to this committee to highlight the U.S. government’s concern of the treatment of Coptic Christians in Egypt is my resolution, H.Res.49. Let’s recall President Reagan’s admonition as to our responsibility: “Respect for human rights is not social work; it is not merely an act of compassion. It is the first obligation of government and the source of its legitimacy."


On January 16, 2019, Congressman Hill introduced a resolution, H.Res.49, expressing support for Coptic Christians and religious liberty in Egypt. The full text of H.Res.49 can be found HERE.

H.Res.49 acknowledges the importance of the United States-Egypt partnership in advancing our common interests, recognizes Egypt’s need for certain government reforms, and calls on the Egyptian government to end the culture of impunity and make examples by arresting, prosecuting, and convicting those responsible for attacks on Christians. It also calls on the government to hold those local government officials accountable who fail to enforce the law.

On April, 9, 2019, Congressman Hill sent a letter to President Trump ahead of his meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, calling on him to raise concerns about the plight of Christian minorities in Egypt. The full letter can be found HERE.

In October, Congressman Hill received In Defense of Christians' (IDC) 2019 Congressional Champion award for his "extraordinary commitment to the human rights and religious freedom of Christian and other religious minority communities in the Middle East." Specifically, IDC highlighted Congressman Hill's work in support of Coptic Christians.

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