With attacks on Christians already increasing in the Middle East, the populist uprising in Egypt has triggered fears among some that the region’s largest non-Muslim population – Egypt’s 7 million Coptic Christians – could be at risk.

Copt leaders in the United States said they are terrified that a new Egyptian government with a strong Islamic fundamentalist bent would persecute Christians. They are quietly lobbying the Obama administration to do more to protect Christians in Muslim countries and are holding prayer vigils and fasts such as one that ends Wednesday evening at Copt churches around the country, including four in the Washington area.

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