Hosni Mubarak can count on at least one loyal supporter. Coptic Christian leader Pope Shenouda wants the anti-Mubarak protesters to stand down. He has two inarguable reasons to stick with the dictator: fear and experience.

Even if the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t take over, there is every reason to believe that a democratically elected Egyptian government will become more Islamist and more hostile to the country’s roughly 8 million Christians, who are overwhelmingly Copts. As a horrifying premonition, the Copts need look no farther than democratic Iraq, where the ethnic cleansing of Christians is still unspooling, slowly but inexorably.

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