A Coptic Christian woman was stripped and dragged along the streets of the Egyptian city of Minya as hundreds of people watched, announced Bishop Makarios of Minya.
The woman, who was identified as a senior citizen above the age of 60, was attacked amid clashes over a love affair involving a Christian man and a Muslim woman from the Karam village in Minya. It remains unclear whether the woman was sexually assaulted. However, reports indicate she was injured during the attack. Egyptian Streets has chosen not to name the victim to protect her privacy.
The incident occurred a few days ago but only came to light in a statement released by the Bishop, reported Tahrir News.
According to the Bishop, the violence first started on 19 May after rumors of the romantic affair between the Muslim and the Christian. The violence saw the torching of a number of houses belonging to Coptic Christians, resulting in EGP 350,000 in damages, said the Bishop.
Earlier this week, Aswat Masriya reported that two people were injured and seven homes torched during sectarian clashes. The report revealed that a group of Muslim residents first set the house of the Coptic Christian man reportedly involved with the Muslim woman on fire, resulting in clashes.
In response, Aswat Masriya reports that a group of Christian residents gathered and set fire to houses and a storage room belonging to Muslim residents in the village. In total, four houses belonging to Coptic Christians and three belonging to Muslims were torched.
While police managed to intervene, arresting 25 individuals involved in the stripping and dragging of the Coptic Christian woman, Egyptian social media have been outraged. In the past few hours since Bishop Makarios’ statement, ‘Egypt was stripped’ started trending on Twitter in Egypt.
Sectarian tension between Muslims and Christians has been rife in the past decade, with clashes often taking part in rural Egyptian cities. In late 2015, a 26-year-old woman was killed by her family after converting to Christianity and marrying a man from Fayoum.
Egypt’s current President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has stressed the importance of unity, promising greater support for Coptic Christians.
During a speech marking Coptic Orthodox Christmas in January 2016, President Sisi, who was the first Egyptian President to make an appearance at Christmas mass in 2015, apologized for the burning of churches in 2013 and vowed to restore all torched churches and houses by the end of the year.
While there are no official figures, Pope Tawadros II said earlier this month that Coptic Christians make up approximately 16 percent of Egypt’s population, with 15 million Copts in Egypt.