“We do not want a church:” Mob attacks Christian homes over rumors of church construction in Cairo

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Eight Christian homes were targeted by a Muslim mob, over rumors of construction of a church. The incident took place in Saft el-Khirsa, a village in Cairo’s south. Christian homes came under attack after rumors of a church’s construction spread. An enraged mob, unleashed it’s fury on Christians. The mob went on a rampage with gas canisters, rocks and bird shot guns.

Coptic Christians persecuted in Egypt

The mob vandalized the Christian houses, purportedly, the mobsters were chanting slogans: “We don’t want a church”, and many other slogans expressing hate towards Christians during their attack. The village is house to 12,000 – comprising 70 Christian families. The village has 10 mosques while there are no churches, rumors of construction of a church sent the fanatics into tizzy which resulted in vandalism.

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In recent times, there is a sharp increase in mob attacks on Coptic Christians primarily over rumors that churches are being constructed secretly. A local Coptic Christian told Christian persecution watchdog World Watch Monitor, saying, “On Thursday 21 July, we received threats of an attack the next day. We told the police and national security, but they showed no interest saying, ‘If an attack happens, call us then and we’ll come quickly.’”

“On Friday, during the Muslim prayers the loudspeakers suddenly fell eerily silent. Later, crowds filed out of mosques. One cleric was clearly seen directing groups of people in different ways towards Christian homes.” Terrified Coptic Christians informed the police about the incident, but were told, “You wish to cause mayhem by building a church and now you come back crying?”

Later on, 8 Coptic Christians and 10 Muslims were hooked by the police. It was later decided that a community center will be built for Christians where they could hold their weddings, funerals or other communal gatherings but no prayer services will held there.