30 March 2017
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  • » 06/24/2011, 00.00

    EGYPT

    Hundreds of Salafists attack a Coptic church in Upper Egypt



    Armed with sticks, Islamic extremists besieged in the church of Saint George in Bani Ahmed, in the Archdiocese of Minya, for five hours threatening to kill the pastor. The church had already been attacked on March 23. The violence was provoked by an attempt to restore the building.
    Cairo (AsiaNews) - Hundreds of Salafists yesterday attacked the Coptic Church of St. George in the village of Bani Ahmed (Minya - Upper Egypt) and attempted to kill Fr. George Thabet. The news was reported this morning. According to local sources, the extremists turned up outside the building armed with sticks, telling the faithful to deliver the priest who was celebrating mass. The army intervened only after five-hour siege, and the priest was escorted out of the village.

    This is the second assault suffered by the community of Bani Ahmed, in a few months. On 23 March, the Salafists stopped the restoration of the church and obtained the expulsion of Fr Thabet from the village.

    Fr. Rafic Greich, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, told AsiaNews that the Salafists are against the restoration of the church and attacked the building when their suspicions were aroused by the removal of some vestments to a parish warehouse and the return of the parish priest. The priest said that the extremists do not tolerate the presence of Christians and find any excuse to destroy the churches.

    Today, the Archdiocese of Minya has issued a statement reiterating its concern over the incident and denouncing the "return of the Salafists to the village." The Archdiocese accused the government of the military of not doing enough to protect Christians.

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    See also

    21/10/2013 EGYPT
    Coptic Church attacked in Cairo, 8-year-old girl among the dead
    So far, four people are known to have died and 18 wounded when, yesterday afternoon, two men on a motorcycle fired on a crowd in front of the Virgin Mary Coptic Church in Warraq, a Christian neighbourhood in the Egyptian capital. For a spokesman of the Egyptian Catholic Church, "Christians are the main target of religious hatred."

    10/03/2011 EGYPT
    Cairo, Al-Azhar condemns violence against Christians
    The death toll rises to 13 from clashes between Copts and Muslims in recent days in Cairo, after the burning of a church. The violence has mainly involved the landfill district of Mansheya.

    20/04/2009 EGYPT
    Two Coptic Christians killed on the eve of Orthodox Pascha
    The murder took place in the village of Hagaza in southern Egypt. The two were returning from celebrations at their local church. A third Christian was seriously injured. The attackers are believed to be Muslims of the area. The police state that this was a vendetta between rival clans.

    23/01/2012 EGYPT
    For Catholic Church, Islamist victory scares Christians but expresses the will of the people
    The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists get 73 per cent of the seats in the lower house, which meets today for the first time since Mubarak’s fall. The session began this morning with a minute of silence for the martyrs of the Jasmine Revolution. The armed forces remain a problem.

    27/01/2012 EGYPT
    Salafist threats against Christians must stop, says Mahmoud Salem
    Mahmoud Salem, a moderate Muslim and a member of the Free Egyptians Party, filed a suit against Yasser al-Bourhami, a Salafist cleric, accusing him of inciting hatred against Copts. He is also against any outrageous and violent use of Islam. So far, the authorities have ignored other suits filed by members of moderate Islamic parties.



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