Coptic Christians plead for help.
Throughout Egypt, Islamist supporters of ousted Muslim Brotherhood leader President Morsi attacked churches, Christian institutions, homes and shops after Egyptian security forces cleared two of their sit-in camps in Cairo, according Asia News citing sources from the Catholic Church in Egypt.
Samia Sidhom, managing editor of Watani, a Cairo news service with a focus on Coptic Christian issues, told World Watch Monitor the situation for Egyptian Christians is “very bad,” as Christian homes are under attack.
“The Islamists have again been on a rampage against Copts and churches. It's bad in Mallawi and Minya - very bad. The Catholic church and the Good Shepherd school have been burned; also the Evangelical church. But worse, they're attacking the Christians in their homes. Ten houses have been attacked, and now they're attacking shops too,” says Sidhom.
The Coptic Orthodox bishopric in Mallawi and the 4th Century desert monastery of Abu Fana have also been attacked. In Cairo, Sidhom says “the Islamists tried to break into the Giza bishopric but were confronted by the army and stopped. A friend who lives close by says
they fled to the side streets, cursing the army and shouting abuse at them for defending the church. And also in Cairo, the Islamists attempted to break into the Mar-Girgis church on the Nile Corniche to Helwan, but Muslims in the neighborhood rushed to defend the church and forced the Islamists to turn back.”
“Assailants attacked a women-only monastery along with at least two Christian schools and set at least 30 Coptic-owned homes across the country on fire, along with scores of businesses. They also destroyed three Bible Society stores,” reported Morning Star News
A mob burns Christian literature outside a Christian-owned business
“Wael Ibrahim, manager of the Assuit branch of the Egyptian Bible Society, watched helplessly from a distance as a group of Morsi supporters circled his store several times at 9:15 a.m., threatening to attack any Christian who approached. He left only to receive a cell phone call informing him that his store was on fire,” reported Morning Star.
“I watched from afar, and I saw the Muslim Brotherhood people divide up into teams of 10 to attack anyone who approached the store,” Ibrahim told Morning Star. “I eventually left and I called the police because it was all I could do. I left, and half an hour later I got a call, and someone told me the Bible Society was on fire, so I quickly went back. But I couldn’t get close enough to defend the place.”
Coptic Christians pray for help
Ibrahim told Morning Star he watched the Bible Society structure burn down, and then the mob set fire, one-by-one, to every Christian-owned store in the area. “They didn’t just attack the store, they attacked the café and every store on the street that had any connection with Christians – they destroyed so many stores,” he said, adding that
the Bible Society lost all merchandise and literature. “All the books were burned. There is nothing left.”
Egyptian Christians worry about their children
Among those killed were Christian leader Iskander Rizk Allah from Delga and Rami Zakria of Alexandria.
A pastor and his wife were kidnapped from their Seventh-day Adventist church in Assuit, According to the Coptic newspaper Watani.
Egypt has one of the longest recorded histories of any modern state, having been continuously inhabited since at least the 10th millennium BC. It is the most populous Arab nation with 84 million people, the 15th largest population in the world. Of its 390,000 square miles, most is barren desert. Only about 15,000 square miles are populated – along the Nile River. Half of the population lives in densely settled urban Cairo, Alexandria and the Nile Delta.
It was there that the attacks “constituted the largest assault on the Christian community in Egypt, though the number of casualties is still unknown,” reported Morning Star.