(Mr. PITTS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, this week, 13 Coptic Christians in Egypt were killed in clashes with Muslims. Recently, a church in the town of Sol was burned to the ground, leading many Christians to flee the village in fear of their lives. This comes only 2 months after 24 Christians were killed in a church bombing.
For thousands of years, Coptic Christians have lived and worshiped in Egypt, but some extremists want to use the chaos in the country today to drive them out of their homes and places of worship.
Egypt is in the process of developing a democratic government, one in which all the Egyptian people will have a say. These attacks undermine freedom and democracy. Democracy without protection of minority rights is mob rule and not true freedom.
I invite all my colleagues to join me on a letter to the commander in chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces calling on him to protect the Egyptian citizens during this critical period in his nation. We are glad to see the Egyptian people building a better government, and we must remind them that fundamental respect for human rights must be protected.