Wave of attacks on Copts and churches

eipr.org: The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) today warned about the gravity of sectarian violence and incitement seen in several governorates since the massive demonstrations and marches of 30 June. The way that state agencies, particularly the security apparatus, have dealt with these attacks is disturbing. These agencies have acted slowly and have not performed their legally mandated roles, failing to intervene to protect citizens and their property despite prior knowledge of the charged atmosphere and despite their presence on the scene during attacks.


Sectarian violence in Nagaa Hassan in the Luxor governorate left four Copts dead and several homes torched and looted in the wake of the killing of a Muslim citizen. Police took no action to protect unarmed citizens although they repeatedly called on security to extract them from their homes, which were surrounded, and take them out of the village. An orthodox priest was also murdered in North Sinai, while the tense climate and incitement led churches in the area to close their doors and stop receiving worshippers.


Furthermore, some churches and Coptic-owned property came under assault starting on Wednesday evening, 3 July, following the statement by General Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, minister of defense. Angry supporters of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsy, looted and torched a building belonging to the Catholic church in Dilga in the Minya governorate, also looting the Islah Church in the same village, terrorizing local Copts and attacking their homes. One citizen was killed and several injured in the events; other governorates saw less severe attacks.


Categories: Africa

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