Mr. SIRES asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)
Mr. SIRES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my concern for the escalating persecution of the Christian community in Egypt.
We were all inspired by the call for freedom and democracy in Egypt this winter, but for some in Egypt, the transition has led to more threats, more fear, and more violence. While Mubarak is gone, extremist groups in Egypt are using the newly opened political space to escalate their war against Christians. Churches are burning and people are being murdered in the streets over their religious beliefs. If these groups get their way, the opportunity for a democratic and free Egypt would be lost.
As the United States partners with Egyptian communities to support democracy in this time of transition, it is imperative that human rights violations are not pushed aside. The United States must demand that any Egyptian Government protect the rights and lives of its citizens before any U.S. dollars are given to that government.
The respect of human rights, including religious freedoms, is imperative for the future and stability of Egypt and the region.