Egypt: Muslim crowd burns seven homes of Copts

In governorate Minya, Christian woman undressed in public

26 May, 13:33

    Monastir of Anba Bishoy, Wadi Natrun Monastir of Anba Bishoy, Wadi Natrun

    CAIRO - A crowd of some 300 Muslims attacked and set on fire seven homes of Coptic Christians in a village of central Egypt and forced a Christian woman to get naked in public.
    The incident was reported in a statement by the Coptic church of the governorate of Minya, quoted by Egyptian media like Al Masry Al Youm and occurred near Abu Qurqas on Friday night.
    The homes were ''attacked, burned, ransacked and destroyed'' at around 8 pm, the statement said, reporting that police reached the location two hours later, arresting six people. The crowd of attackers was ''chanting slogans'' and the ''deplorable incidents'' followed ''reports of a sentimental relationship between a Coptic Christian man and a Muslim woman''.
    Copts represent roughly 10% of the Egyptian population.
    Dozens of Coptic churches and institutions were set on fire during violence in the summer of 2013 following the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt. Members of the local Coptic church said in the note they are ''convinced that state institutions will not remain inactive'' and ''will not spare any effort to arrest the assailants''.
    The Copts are the largest Christian community in the Middle East.
    After the bomb in Alexandria in 2012 that killed at least 21 people and violence in the summer of three years ago in which at least 40 buildings were targeted, the episodes of Islamic religious intolerance towards Copts were less significant.
    Official gestures like the presence at important religious ceremonies of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi are often cited as signs of reciprocal support between the government and the Coptic church which feels more protected by the current executive than by the cabinet led by the Muslim Brotherhood.
    One year ago, 71 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood were sentenced to life in prison for burning a Coptic church.

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