As the Egyptian government moves to strengthen security around places of worship in the Australian Coptic Christian community fears are rising for friends and relatives overseas.
In particular there are concerns for the safety of women. One social worker says she fears Coptic women are now the targets of sectarian violence.
The Australian Coptic Bishop of Melbourne says he's raised the safety of his community with the Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The Egyptian ambassador says there is a "Coptic problem" in Egypt and the Copts have legitimate concerns.
Sarah Dingle reports.