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Egypt: Mob attack on Coptic Orthodox church encouraged by police, mob chants ‘No church will be allowed here’

“There are at least approximately 3000 pending applications from churches that still need to be examined by the government commission set up to verify whether they meet legal requirements.”

The Egyptian government, fearful of mob violence such as we see in this story, is dragging its feet on approving these applications. But the freedom of religion is a human right that has been recognized by the United Nations, of which Egypt is, of course, a member. Please continue to remember in your prayers our brothers and sisters of the Coptic Orthodox Christian Church in Egypt as they are persecuted for their Christian faith, and pray that the government and police relent and provide them the assistance and protection they need to construct churches and worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“Egypt: Mob attack encouraged by police promise ‘No church will be allowed here,’” World Watch Monitor, July 17, 2018:

A mob attacked a church in Minya, Egypt, on 13 July protesting against its legalisation and received a police officer’s approval, World Watch Monitor has learnt from local sources.

The only church in Ezbet Sultan Pasha village, where about 20 percent of the population is Christian, was built in September 2016. Apart from masses and prayer meetings, St. Karas the Anchorite Coptic Orthodox Church also held Sunday school classes and housed a nursery.

After a rumour spread in the majority-Muslim village that Copts had applied for the de-facto church’s legalisation, as is required by the August 2016 Law on the Organisation of the Construction of Churches, local Muslims started a demonstration in front of the church after Friday noon prayer on 6 July.

“The protesters were chanting slogans against us [Copts], such as ‘We don’t want a church in our village,’” Hany Farouk, a resident of the village told World Watch Monitor.

“We locked ourselves in our homes during the demonstration because we were afraid that they would attack us. Police didn’t do anything to disperse the demonstrators and didn’t arrest anyone of them.”

Demonstrations continued the following day with no intervention by the police, according to locals.

A week later, 13 July, a bigger mob comprised of residents of Ezbet Sultan Pasha and nearby villages, gathered in front of the church and started pelting it with stones and bricks, along with a house next to it, belonging to a Copt.

“They were shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ [Allah is the greatest] and chanting hostile slogans against Copts, such as: ‘We will not allow any church to exist in our Muslim village’, ‘We will not allow any other prayers to be held in our Muslim village except our prayers,’” Farouk said.

While police did not intervene, one of the officers apparently promised the protesters that no church would be allowed in the village. According to Farouk, this declaration encouraged the protesters who clapped shouting ‘Allahu akbar’. The mob dispersed afterwards….

There are at least approximately 3000 pending applications from churches that still need to be examined by the government commission set up to verify whether they meet legal requirements….

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