Egypt had a majority Christian population for a thousand years before Islam became the dominant religion. In May 2012 elections, the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood Party gained control of both the legislature and the presidency. As the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood grew, killings, church attacks and abductions of women also increased. However, on July 3, 2013, the elected president, Muhammad Morsi, who was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, was removed from power by the Egyptian military after millions of protesters took to the streets. Egypt has been designated a Country of Particular Concern by the USCIRF.
Shariah (Islamic law) became the principal source of legislation in 1980, with persecution of Christians most prevalent in Upper Egypt. Since Egypt's revolution in 2011, nearly 100 Coptic Christians have been killed, more than in the previous 10 years combined. In February 2013, Christian groups came together to form an Egyptian Council of Churches. Radical Muslims angered by Morsi's removal have retaliated against Egyptian Christians, killing a priest and others. They have painted marks on Christian-owned businesses to indicate potential targets during attacks, and they have warned people not to purchase from Christians. Many Christian shop owners have been forced to close their shops, and Christian women and girls have been forced to stay inside to prevent being attacked or kidnapped.