A mob has ransacked houses of Christians in an Egyptian village. After looting their houses, the mobsters set these houses on fire. The incident has left 2 Christians injured while a firefighter also sustained injuries. Where as those injured; including two Christians and a firefighter are hospitalized.
Details emerged that the terrible incident unfolded in the village of Demshaw Hachem in southern Egypt. Media reported that the mob attacked Christians last week. Minya’s Coptic Orthodox Diocese announced that at least four homes of Christians were set on fire in the village.
It was reported that before setting these homes on fire, the attackers looted them. Purportedly, the attackers had carried out this attack because these houses were being used as churches. “Extremists attacked Copts, stole quantities of jewelry and money, destroyed household appliances and set fire to property,” Minya’s Coptic Orthodox Diocese stated.
It is believed that the attackers were either from the same village or had come from nearby areas. Local church had already been receiving threats; the situation was reported to the local authorities. The diocese explained that despite of the fact that Christians had informed the authorities about the looming attack, no steps were taken in order to protect Christians. It was after the attack that the authorities came to the aid of Christians. Police arrested about 38 people in connection with this incident.
The Minya Coptic Orthodox Diocese said: “The likelihood of the recurrence of such attacks is very high, as long as the perpetrators are not punished.” The diocese maintains that the attack could have been prevented had the authorities taken proactive measures earlier. Lack of action from authorities’ has worsened the impact of incident.
Media reports that a similar incident was reported from nearby village of Ezbet Sultan Pasha weeks earlier. On July 6, a mob protested against Christians after rumors circulated that local Christians have submitted an application to build a church.
“The protesters were chanting slogans against us (Copts), such as ‘We don’t want a church in our village,'” a local Christian was quoted by Christian persecution watchdog. “We locked ourselves in our homes during the demonstration because we were afraid that they would attack us. Police didn’t do anything to disperse the demonstrators and didn’t arrest anyone of them.”
The protests continued while the police did not intervene. On July 13, a greater mob assembled and pelted bricks at the already existing church and a Christian’s house next to the church. The mobsters were chanting slogans that no church could exist in their village.