CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Egypt: Christian Homes Burned by Muslim Mob to Warn Against Building Church

Coptic Church
(Photo : Andrew A. Shenouda/Flickr/CC) A mob in Egypt set fire to four Christian houses to warn a local landowner not to build a church on his property in Kom el Loofy village, Samalout.

At least four Coptic Christian homes were torched by a mob of 300 Muslims in Samalout, Egypt, according to a report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

The attack was perpetrated in Kom el Loofy village by the mob to warn the Copts against building a church on land owned by a Christian man Ashraf Khalaaf.

"The torching of Coptic homes in Kom El Loofy underscores once more the urgent need for Egypt's House of Representatives to enact a law regulating the construction and renovation of houses of worship in a manner that guarantees the right of Christians to worship in community with others," said Kiri Kankhwende, Senior Press Officer at CSW.

"We echo the Bishophric of Samaloot in condemning the imposition of reconciliation meetings as a replacement for the rule of law because they impose ad-hoc, unjust and often un-constitutional conditions on the victims of sectarian violence and perpetuate impunity for the perpetrators," he added.

Khalaaf was accused of intending to build a church on his property, and was summoned by the police to sign papers assuring that he will not go ahead with such plans. Yet, the mob burnt down the homes to give them a strong signal against the earlier proposal.

Last month also, dozens of Christian homes in Al-Beida were set on fire by angry Muslim mob which thought that one of the homes was to be made into a church. All construction material was destroyed in the attack.

Police arrived at the scene, but could not stop the mob as it was torching homes and cars. Many Christians who wanted to talk to the crowd were also wounded.

Meanwhile, blasphemy charges against Christians and non-Muslims also provoke the mobs to torch homes and destroy property.

Bishoy Kameel Garas was recently acquitted of blasphemy charges, which were proved false as someone had created a fake Facebook page and written obscene language attributed to his name. The charges against him caused an uproar in his community, even when the accusations could be easily falsified by evidence.

"The defence team was mobbed by scores of angry people around and inside the courthouse shouting, 'Are you Muslims or what?' The lawyers were themselves accused of apostasy and had to be spirited from the court's security office," said Ishak Ibrahim from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), who was defending Garas.

Tags Coptic Christians, Egypt

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