A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

MB, Salafi Attacks on Churches Across Egypt at Unprecedented Levels

Muslim Brotherhood supporters and sympathizers are now openly attacking churches (as well as police stations), though unlike police stations, which are symbols of the state, the attacks on Christian sites have little obvious link to the events of today. From the Maspero Youth:
 The Maspero Youth Union operations center is monitoring the attacks on churches and Coptic property in 5 provinces.
Extremist groups from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salfyeen, and Jama’a Islameya implemented their threats of attacking Christians and police departments in of the dispersion of the sit ins at Nahda in Giza and Raba’a eladaweya in Nasr City. Starting from early morning, these terrorists began attacking churches and Coptic property in the provinces of Minya, Fayoum, Al Suez, Luxor, and Sohag. The losses have been reported as follows: 
1: Attacking the bishopric of Sohag and the burning of St. George’s Church (which is a part of the bishopric), resulting in heavy losses due to the late arrival of the fire trucks.

2: The attack on the Monastery of St. Mary and Anba Abraam in the village of Delga, as well as the Monastery of Mowas in el Minya and the burning of three churches therein: St. Mary’s ancient church from the third century, St. George’s Church, St. Antony’s church and the attached services building, as well as the bishop’s headquarters.

3. The attack on the houses and stores of Christians in the village of Delga, where the robbing and burning of 20 houses and stores took place as well as the injury of 3 people with rubber bullets. The attacks continue in the absence of the police after the burning of the precinct in Delga. The house of the priest Angelos, the priest of St. Mary and Anba Abram’s church, was also burned.

4. The attack on St. Mina’s Church in the Abo Helal area and throwing of Molotov cocktails into the church, as well as the burning of the medical center associated with the church. A nearby church, Anba Moussa’s, was also defamed, as well as the burning of a nearby pharmacy owned by Dr. Nabil Qebty and a doctor’s office owned by Dr. Amir Fahmy.

5. The attack on a Baptist church in Beny Sweif in the province of El Minya.

6. The entire burning of St. Mary’s Church in the village of Nazla, a part of Joseph the Just’s Center in Fayoum.

7. The burning and destruction of the Monastery of Al Amir Tadros the Shetby, east of the village of Nazla, also a part of Joseph the Just’s Center. Homes and stores of Copts there were also attacked.

8. The attack on a St. Joseph’s School, which is run by nuns, in El Minya.

9. The attack and defamation of St. Tadros el Amir’s Church in El Minya, as well as the burning of the “golden boat”, which was part of a Protestant church in El Minya.

10. A Copt named Askandar Tos was shot and killed in the village of Delga, following the break in on his house.

11. Attacks on the stores and hotels owned by Copts in El Karnak Street and Cleopatra in Luxor, including the looting and destroying the Santa Clause chain of stores, the “Arkhashom lelglod” stores, the Moris Pharmacy, and Horus Hotel.

12. The defamation of St. George’s Church in El Wasty as well as the breaking of the windows of the office of the church’s priest.

13. The defamation of the Archangel Michael’s Church in Asyout without any losses.

14. The burning of a Greek church in Barades Street in El Suez.

15. The burning of Franciscan schools in the “Army Street” in El Suez. The Good Shepherd School which is run by nuns was also attacked, and some machinery was destroyed , but they were stopped by those living in the area.

16. The burning of the “Friends of the Bible” Organization in Al Fayoum, which is in front of the Mu’almeen club.

17. The complete burning of St. George’s Church in July 23rd Street in Al Areesh.

18. The attack on the bishopric and surrounding streets in Atfeeh.
This may be the largest number of concerted attacks on Copts and other Christians in modern times; somewhere between 17 and 21 churches and schools were reportedly burned today alone. Nor is this just "government propaganda":  some Brotherhood officials have openly justified attacks on churches. In Egypt's deepening divisions, the Copts find themselves in the crossfire.

The Twitter hashtag #EgyChurch is following the events.

Earlier, Muslims defending a church in Sohag against attack:
In better times

The same church today

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