Ongoing Violence against Christians In Egypt

Muslim mob armed with gas cannisters, rocks and bird shots allegedly attacked Christians over rumors of a new church led to the destroying of a village in Saft el-Khirsa, 180 km south of Cairo, according to Express News.

The British newspaper said that the vigilantes attacked Coptic Christians and went on the rampage after hearing a new place of worship was being set up in a house in Egypt.

There has always been a debate in Egypt for Christians to legally build churches.

A new church can only be built by official presidential decree – and they are only issued once a year.

According to eyewitnesses who spoke to World Watch Monitor the baying mob shouted “we don’t want a church” and “No god but Allah, Christians the enemies of Allah.”

The mob destroyed homes and shops belonging to some of the village’s 70 Christian families in the attack as the crowd armed with gas canisters and air guns went on the rampage.

The village, which has a population of 12,000, already boasts 10 mosques.

Mahrous Ishak, a local Copt, told World Watch Monitor,”We received threats of an attack the next day.”

Mahrous Ishak said that they have informed the police and national security, but they showed no interest saying ‘If an attack happens, call us then and we’ll come quickly’

Ten of the rioting mob were arrested for their part in the violence, but shockingly none of the eight Christians detained have yet been freed.

Lawyers have struggled to gain access to the Christians and one young Copt.

Eight Christians were arrested after the brutal attack in Saft el-Khirsa after filing a complaint about the attack.

Villager Ishak said,”When we asked why they were detaining victims as well as perpetrators, they told us it was a matter of ‘state security’ and that’s how things are done. “

“One young man, Michael Ibrahim, went to the police station to complain about the attack. He was instead detained and no report was filed. He was told ‘Since you are here, you might as well stay here.'”

Recently,violence against Christians has escalated in Egypt recently, an unexpected phenomena after they backed the military coup leader Abel Fattah al-Sisi  in the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

They also backed and supported al-Sisi in the presidential elections that brought him to power in 2014. But unfortunately,  the Copts didn’t find their hope fulfilled in return for their great favor under the secular military rule.

However, a series of attacks against Christians in Egypt escalated during last month.

An Orthodox Christian nun from Mar Girgis Monastery in Old Cairo was killed on 5 July, after reportedly being hit by a stray bullet on the Cairo-Alexandria Highway.

Following the incident, a man and his son were also killed in what was described as a “revenge attack”.

Moreover, Rafael Moussa, a Coptic Orthodox priest of the church of St. George, was murdered in Al Arish, a coastal city in North Sinai. The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the murder, describing Moussa as a “disbelieving combatant.”

ISIS has previously claimed responsibility for the beheading of 21 Christian Egyptians working in Libya in February 2015.

In late May, a 70-year-old Christian woman was allegedly stripped naked by a mob of Muslim citizens in her village in the conservative southern province of al-Minya. The alleged assault was provoked by rumors that the woman’s son was involved in a love affair with a Muslim woman.

However, the incident was later denied  by the woman’s neighbors, the mayor of the village, and the city’s member of parliament.

Sectarian violence occasionally erupts between Muslims and Christians mainly in rural communities in Upper Egypt.