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Eight Christian homes were attacked and an equal number of Copts were detained after Muslims in an Egyptian village went on a rampage following rumours of a house church being built.

The attack last week in Saft el-Khirsa (180km south of Cairo) trails more than a dozen others that have, over the past two months, made an already vulnerable community more nervous. Of those attacks, three have seen Copts injured and their properties vandalised in the wake of claims that churches were being secretly set up.

Egypt is yet to approve a common law granting churches the same building rights as mosques. Discussions to redress this imbalance have fruitlessly been going on since the 1970s.

In Saft el-Khirsa, Coptic homes and stores were pelted by angry crowds shouting, “We don’t want a church,” and “No god but Allah, Christians are the enemies of Allah,” according to local witnesses.

Saft el-Khirsa, a village of some 12,000, is home to 70 Christian families. In a situation repeated across the country, the village is not served by a church, while ten mosques serve the Muslim community.

After police eventually put an end to violence, eight Copts, including some whose properties were vandalised, were rounded up and taken to custody. Ten Muslim attackers were also arrested. When asked why they were detaining victims as well as perpetrators, police said it was a matter of ‘state security’.

 Source: World Watch Monitor

 Prayer Points

  • Pray this most recent attack will galvanise the authorities to make changes to ensure justice is upheld; pray for the release of all innocent parties.
  • Pray the Lord will shower His generous provision on all who have suffered loss.
  • Thank the Lord for the way He is working in Egypt despite the opposition; ask Him to further unify His church and encourage them to be bold in their witness.

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