SARASOTA, Fla. - As our government debates what role the U.S. should play in Syria, people demonstrated on Sarasota's bayfront Friday to ask for U.S. support in Egypt.
The people there are Coptic Christians, which is a minority in Egypt who say that since the Egyptian military tossed out President Mohammed Morsi last month, members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood Party have lashed out against Christians.
"One of the birthplaces of Christianity is being attacked," says Coptic Orthodox church member Simon Parsons.
People there say that Egypt's military did the right thing when it deposed Morsi on July 3rd after weeks of protest against the country's first democratically elected president. "The military did what we all as Egyptians wanted to do," says Father Seraphim Luiz.
Crackdowns and arrests of other top Morsi officials have led some Muslim Brotherhood members to turn their anger against the country's Christians. "Many churches, even houses, many businesses are destroyed by the Muslim Brotherhood," says Father Luiz.
They fear that U.S. support for Egypt's interim government will waver. So far, the U.S. has said that Morsi's overthrow will restore democracy to Egypt, and it has continued its financial aid to the country.
"Egypt is the motherland, the base of the Middle East. What happens there will affect the entire world,” says Parsons.
Sarasota’s demonstration is but one of a number of demonstrations in Florida and across the country, trying to rally support for the interim government in Egypt here in the U.S.