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» 10/05/2011
EGYPT
Attacks against Coptic churches, part of a plan to expel Egypt’s Christians
In Upper Egypt, Salafis attack two churches are in less than three days. A plan hatched in Saudi Arabia would see Egypt come under an Islamic regime without any place for other religions.

Cairo (AsiaNews) – Recent attacks against Coptic churches in Merinab (Aswan) and Elmadmar (Sohag) are part of a strategy promoted by Saudi Arabia to use its petrodollars to bring the country under a radical Islamic regime, sources in Cairo told AsiaNews. The latter are fearful of a mass exodus by Egypt’s minority Christians.

On Sunday in Merinab (Aswan, Upper Egypt), more than 3,000 Muslims, incited by their local imam, set fire to the local Coptic church after they accused Christians of building it without a permit.

On Monday, a group of Muslims in Elmadmar, (Sohag province, Upper Egypt) tried to tear down Saint Mary Church, but were repulsed by police sent to rescue the Christian community. However, none of the attackers were arrested.

Today, about 500 Christians demonstrated in front of the Governatorate building in Bani Suef (Aswan) demanding the reconstruction of the church of Merinab and the governor’s resignation.

Sources say Egypt’s military is powerless against attacks by Salafis who use money and promises to turn people in the poorest regions of the country against Christians.

The extremist group is spreading across the Middle East, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq, and Lebanon.

Salafis are taking advantage of the region’s instability to get caretaker governments to impose their ideology based on Sharia and Islam’s supremacy on other religions.

According to a recent report cited by the Assyrian News Agency (Aina), about 100,000 Christians have already left the country since Mubarak’s fall.

“The figure is an exaggeration,” sources told AsiaNews, “but many Copts are indeed leaving the country. In Upper Egypt, but also Cairo and Alexandria, many parish churches lay empty. People are afraid and believe that if the Muslim Brotherhood wins, there will be no place for Christians in the country.” (S.C.)

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See also
07/26/2011 EGYPT
The chaos in ruling military council helping Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis
11/22/2011 EGYPT
Christians and Muslims in Tahrir Square want the military to quit
09/19/2011 EGYPT
Military and Muslim Brotherhood, dangerous players in the 21 November election
01/16/2013 EGYPT
Egypt, Islamic extremists demolish Coptic church property in Fayyum
08/05/2013 EGYPT
As anti-Christian attacks continue, trial against Muslim Brotherhood leaders set for 25 August

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

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