Monday, November 12, 2012

Egypt Salafi Muslims Harass Coptic Christians

Egypt ranks No. 15 on the World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian.

Egyptian Entryway in Cairo by AnnaSerio 

Cairo, Nov. 11 (Open Doors News) — It was a quick skirmish and no one was hurt, but it was typical of what Egypt’s Coptic leaders say are increasing attempts to harass Christians since the country’s 2011 revolution.
The latest incident occurred Monday, Nov. 5 in the Shoubra el Kheima district of northern Cairo, where a Coptic Orthodox Church service center is under construction.
Following the afternoon Muslim prayers, a group of Salafi Muslims occupied the construction site. They hung a sign:  Masjed El Rahman, or “Mosque of the Merciful.”
The Maspero Youth Union, a Copt activist group, said on its Facebook page that the intruders insisted the church did not have the necessary permits to build. Government officials later determined the church had all the required permissions in place.
For about 24 hours, however, members of the Coptic Church had to reckon with a group of Salafis who insisted Christians had no right to the land. In the early-morning hours of Tuesday, several members of the Maspero Youth Union made their way to the building site and began asking questions of the occupiers. 

“ ‘We have a small mosque at the end of the street and the presence of a church here will offend us,’” one of the Salafi occupiers said, according to one of the youth union members.
And this small mosque has a license?” the Copt youth said he asked in reply.
“ ‘Do the houses of God need a license?’” he quoted the Muslim as saying.
I was shocked by the answer,” the Copt youth said.
Coptic Bishop Antonius Marcos, who oversees that region of Cairo for the church, urged Christians to avoid direct confrontation with the Salafis even as he lodged complaints with the government officials.
The church doesn’t intend or wish to have any kind of confrontation with anybody. We are all brothers living in a same country,” Bishop Marcos said. 
According to Middle East Concern, a Britain-based Christian human-rights association, the church’s construction project has the support of the governor for that region of Egypt.
The Salafi occupiers left the construction site Tuesday.
The brief occupation of the construction site occurred only one day after Copts selected their new pope, Bishop Tawadros II, who will assume the throne on Nov. 18. He succeeds Pope Shenouda III, who died in March. Copts make up more than 10 million of Egypt’s 80 million people.

Read the Persecution News at
Copyright 2012 Open Doors News
Open Doors News is distributed to raise awareness of Christians worldwide who are persecuted for their faith. Articles may be reprinted by active subscribers only. For subscription information, contact:

No comments: