It is hard to judge the weight of Maspero on the conscience of the nation. Three years ago 27 Copts were killed while demonstrating, some by gunshot, some by the weight of military vehicles which plowed through the crowd.
This week the anniversary was commemorated by a small protest in downtown Cairo, and a small memorial at the church which houses their remains. The families of those killed call for justice, unsatisfied with the minor sentences given to three lower ranking soldiers.
Maspero marked the first blood shed by the army; whether by army or police much more has followed. To date, few have been held accountable, by any of Egypt’s successive regimes.
God, comfort the families of all who lost loved ones, but especially those on this anniversary. Comfort soon those others on the many anniversaries to come.
But comfort is cold without justice, God. You know those guilty, as well as their degree of guilt. Share this information with the people, to balance appropriately between mercy and judgment, between forgiveness and retribution.
For much of the nation has reconciled already with the military, relegating the sins of the past to the past. Others find aplenty the sins of the present.
Will the sins of the future come through ignoring this blood? Without proper rendering, will more blood flow?
Touch the conscience of the nation, God, that all might remember. Touch the conscience of the leaders, that investigations would be transparent. Touch the conscience of the guilty, that they might confess.
And with a healthy conscience, God, may Egypt heal. May Maspero – with all other blood – leave no permanent stain.