On 17 June, homes and property belonging to the Coptic community of Qarayat al Bayda, near Alexandria, Egypt was attacked by angry crowds.
Naeem Aziz, whose house was destroyed, was building the house for his son. However, it was believed that it was going to be used for a church. A large crowd came on Friday 17 June and destroyed the new building and the materials being used for construction. Mr Aziz and his brother Moussa were assaulted and the crowd also attacked a community centre belonging to a local church; a car belonging to the priest was damaged and a motorbike was set on fire.
A video filmed the incident and shows the large crowd chanting slogans including, “there shall never be a Church here!”
Security services arrived at the scene but did not stop the Muslim protesters from beating Mr Aziz and Moussa and destroying the buildings. The police arrested six Copts, including Mr Aziz and his brother, along with six Muslims. The Muslims were set free shortly afterwards, while the Copts were not released until the next day and charged with holding prayers without permission and building without permit.
Mervyn Thomas, CEO of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, said, “We are disturbed to learn of the sectarian violence in Qarayat al Bayda. Our prayers are with those who have been injured and whose homes and property have been damaged and looted.” To read the full article, visit CSW.