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Coptic churches burn amid violence in Egypt

Coptic Christians call for greater protection as wave of violence sweeps across Egypt

By Mohamed Khairat, Founder, EgyptianStreets.com

St. Mary Church in Fayoum attacked, looted

St. Mary Church in Fayoum attacked, looted

Violence in Egypt has taken a dark turn for sectarianism as more than 45 churches and Coptic institutions were torched or stormed across the country.

The wave of attacks against Copts and their houses of worship, businesses, schools and homes came as Egypt’s security forces dispersed two large pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo.

In cities across Egypt, from Sohag and Minya to Cairo and Assiut, Islamists took to the streets attacking churches. In one case in Minya, a Coptic man and his wife were detained before being killed by armed individuals.

In one incident, Islamists torched parts of one of Egypt’s oldest churches that was reportedly built in the 4th Century.

In a frantic email to Egyptian Streets, a Coptic student in Minya said, “They are burning everything we own, and there is no security in sight. Is this Islam? Is this what the Muslim Brotherhood want? To burn Egypt to the grounds!”

Islamists torch one of Sohag's largest Churches, the Mary Guirguis Church

Islamists torch one of Sohag’s largest Churches, the Mary Guirguis Church

Muslim Brotherhood supports attacks on Copts

In Alexandria, others expressed disbelief at the actions of these Islamists that have often been identified by reports as Morsi supporters.

“The tried burning our church here,” said 22-year-old Sarah in Alexandria, “My brother and neighbors have had to stop the attacks because there are no police protecting us.”

The violence against Copts in Egypt comes as the official death toll from violence across the country has reached 525, with at least 3200 injured.

Coptic Pope Tawadros II shared this chilling image of Coptic Christians praying in a burned church

Coptic Pope Tawadros II shared this chilling image of Coptic Christians praying in a burned church

In a public message on Facebook, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, said that its supporters had been behind the torching of Churches.

“The Pope participated in the toppling of the first elected Islamist President…and in sabotage, destruction, and violence…that led to the fall of the Islamist President,” said the Freedom and Justice’s official Facebook page of Helwan.

“The Pope is trying to remove the Islamic identity in Egypt…and after all this you ask why Churches are being torched…for every action there is a consequence,” added the Facebook page.

Government vows protection

In response to the destruction of churches, Egypt’s Minister of Defense and Military Chief, Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi, authorized the Armed Forces’ engineering unit and personnel to rebuild and restore all churches and Coptic institutions that were attacked by Islamists.

Egypt’s Cabinet and Prime Minister also declared that they condemn all acts of violence against Copts, and that all necessary action will be taken to ensure the security of Copts.

The statement by the cabinet came before the Ministry of Interior announced that police forces have been authorized to use live ammunition against any individuals that attack members of Egypt’s security forces, civilians, or any state institutions.

Egypt's Military deploys around Tahrir Square ahead of planned marches on Friday by Morsi supporters [Credit: Gigi Ibrahim]

Egypt’s Military deploys around Tahrir Square ahead of planned marches on Friday by Morsi supporters [Credit: Gigi Ibrahim]

Solidarity with Copts

However, despite condemnations from the government, Copts in Egypt and abroad are reeling. In several countries, including Australia, USA, and the United Kingdom, Coptic communities will be holding prayers in solidarity with Copts in Egypt. 

Leaders of these Coptic communities have also been contacting international governments to ensure that the violence against Christians in Egypt is condemned and that greater action is taken to pressure all sides to ensure the protection of Copts.

In solidarity with the Copts, many Muslims have expressed their concern and disgust at the actions by the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The Qur’an tells us to protect our Christian brothers and their churches,” said Ahmed Mohammed, 26, from Assiut. “These people [attacking churches and Copts] are not Muslim and they do not know what Islam is. 

In a widely shared image on Twitter and Facebook, one unidentified schoolgirl drew an innocent drawing showing her support for Copts. The image shows a crying Mosque giving a hand to a sobbing Church.

A schoolgirl in Upper Egypt drew this to show solidarity with Coptic Christians

A schoolgirl in Upper Egypt drew this to show solidarity with Coptic Christians

As of today, security forces have not intensified their presence around Egypt’s churches. With at least 46 pro-Morsi and Islamist marches planned to Ramsees Square in Cairo, and countless others planned across Egypt, violence is likely to flare as anger rises in Egypt.

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14 Comments on Coptic churches burn amid violence in Egypt

  1. Price tag attacks by the Muslim Brotherhood against Copts – they are no better than the Zionist settlers who attack Palestinians.

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    • this is the work of the same security forces who are not present to protect the properties, be it the HQ of Mb or churches and schools of Qoptic christians.. they openly set fire on Rabia Al Adawiya mosque, what else??

      Like this

  2. Reblogged this on Ned Hamson Second Line View of the News and commented:
    Sectarian violence can tear the society apart – sectarian-like government already brought down the elected government. Step back and seek peace and reconciliation.

    Like this

  3. Muslim brotherhood calling for more blood shed not my idea of peaceful far from it untill the Islamic ideology is reformed this will continue like it has for centuries all in the name of a peaceful religion that wants to dominate the rest of the world

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  4. Reblogged this on .

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    • yes, this approach is well known by security all over the world
      I am repeating !!! -Muslems has no problem with any church’s !!!!! This criminalist Sisi, army and police wiil do everythink to blame pro-Morsi ( by the way should be written pro-democracy !!! ) for all sort of bad things
      yes….now they will concentrate on this …and, to cover the number of kiiled, they have to create such problems, even though those who burned it were not arristed, and no one knows who are them.. it is declared everywhere they are pro Morsi !!! this is complete nonsense

      Like this

  5. So sad-praying…

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  6. speciallly it is in one of the main streets in Cairo, Pyramids street
    where it is always crowd, and as they copu claims , all EGyptians are agianst Muslem brothers,, so how come they let them go!!
    it is so simpl, the building were burned from inside, same for the curch
    and if u notice, you will not be able to notice that but
    all churches has been burned are the old small ones, need to be renwed
    the next step it Army will renwe all of those churs for free
    which happend many times before

    Like this

  7. even though those who burned it were not arristed, and no one knows who are them.. it is declared everywhere they are pro Morsi
    and they said they were few persons,
    i wounder how can few persons burn a full big bulding in few minutes and run away
    speciallly it is in one of the main streets in Cairo, Pyramids street

    Like this

  8. yes, this approach is well known by security
    Muslems has no problem with any church
    yes….now they will concentrate on this …and, to cover the number of kiiled, they have to create such problems

    Like this

  9. This is Terrible, someone has to put an end to it!

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  10. As above – no words.

    Like this

  11. !!!There still is hope when children are the ones with reason!!!

    Like this

  12. This is so tragic I can’t even put it into words

    Like this

13 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Ned Hamson Second Line View of the News | Coptic churches burn amid violence in Egypt | Egyptian Streets شوارع مصر
  2. Egyptian Christians under attack | agnus dei - english + romanian blog
  3. 45 churches torched as violence strikes Egypt’s Coptic Christians « ~II~ THE WATCHTOWERS ~II~
  4. OVER 45 CHURCHES & CHRISTIAN INSTITUTIONS REPORTEDLY ATTACKED IN EGYPT. MEDIA SILENT | World Chaos News
  5. Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt | हिन्दू तर्क शास्त्रद्न्य सिद्धार्थ
  6. Más sobre Egipto y la “primavera árabe” | Sana Crítica
  7. Muslims Murder Christians and Burn Churches to the Ground in Egypt! | Newsline USA
  8. Viral Pic: Coptic Christians Pray Inside Burnt Husk of Church in Egypt | SOOPERMEXICAN
  9. Egyptian Archaeologists’ Syndicate demands blacklisting of all foreign archaeologists | conflict antiquities
  10. Egypt: Militants execute at least 25 policemen in northern Sinai, as ex-dictator Mubarak set to be freed | Fastjack.net
  11. Radical Islamic Professor Attacks Egypt’s Coptic Christians on Facebook | Your Dog Wouldn't Like It
  12. Putin Defends Christianity | The Liberty Bullhorn
  13. Muslim Mob Storms Coptic Church, Topples Cross While Chanting ‘Allahu Akbar!’ | ~~Defender of Faith~Guardian of Truth~~

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