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» 11/25/2010
EGYPT
Two Copts killed in the battle for the "church of the Pyramids"
Thousands of Christian protesters surrounded the governorate in Giza to protest against the blockade of the construction of the only church in the area. Strong reaction of the security forces. Fundamentalist Muslims are opposed to the churches’ completion and put pressure on local authorities.

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Two young Copts were killed in demonstrations related to the attempt by Islamic radicals to prevent the construction of a church in Talbiya, Giza, in the area of the Pyramids. Those wounded in the strong reaction of the security forces, are at least fifty said Abdel Meguid Mahmud Attorney General, of which seven officers and 11 police officers. One hundred people were arrested. The clashes occurred when some two thousand Coptic protesters surrounded the headquarters of the governorate of Giza, accused of using various pretexts to prevent the conclusion of a Coptic church, opposed by Muslim fundamentalists.

The authorities have deployed thousands of agents in the Giza and Omraniya area to prevent further unrest, that come on the eve of national elections. Yesterday's protest was the result of the authorities' decision to stop work on the church. Since the beginning of November, local authorities have employed various legal pretexts to prevent the completion of the dome. The latest reason given is that permits for construction referred to a social center, not a church.

There are over one million Copts in the region of Talbiya, and they do not have a church. They are forced to travel several kilometers to attend religious services. Local Coptic authorities protest that mosques are built without any problems. Instead obstacles and difficulties are never-ending in the case of churches. A government report says that there are 93thousand mosques in Egypt, against two thousand churches. Copts make up about 10 percent of the Egyptian population, and complain of being discriminated against and treated unfairly. In recent days, arson attacks on the homes of Copts in southern Egypt at the hands of a mob of Muslim fundamentalists was defined as a "chance act" in the investigation proceedings.


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See also
12/11/2010 EGYPT
Protests over block on church of the Pyramids. "The government discriminates against Christians"
12/07/2010 EGYPT
Copts protest in Cairo demanding justice for the killed and freedom for the arrested
06/21/2011 EGYPT
Egypt’s obscure law on religious buildings. Doubts of the Christian communities
03/09/2013 EGYPT
Egypt, police take to streets against the Muslim Brotherhood
03/18/2010 EGYPT
Egyptian police arrest 13 Copts, victims of attack by Islamic extremists

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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