Local authorities attacked members of a church and demolished their building.
While legally renovating the building to make space for children’s church, the Anba Karas Coptic Orthodox Church received violent backlash from community members before authorities stepped in.
“As soon as we started the building work, extremist Muslims attacked us,” church deacon, Bishoy, said. “Luckily, this first attack was stopped by moderate Muslims in our village.”
However, authorities soon issued a notice of demolition, even though their accusations of improper building foundations were unsupported.
“The police and some extremists came unexpectedly and insulted our priest and hit him so badly that he fainted,” Bishoy explained. “Then they fired tear gas at us and attacked us physically. They even hurt women and children. They arrested 14 church members, including some women and a man whose arm was broken. He was given no medical treatment.
“They demolished all the concrete columns of three stories of the building. They demolished the alter, Christian sanctuaries and destroyed Christian books.
“The nearest church is now 15km away. It is too far considering that we usually go multiple times a week and most of us don’t have the means to travel out of our village.”
According to the church’s lawyer, this is the first time that authorities in the region have assaulted a priest and he fears it may happen again.
As Bishoy’s 3,000 member congregation continues to follow Christ without a building, please be praying over them.
Egypt ranks no.16 on the WORLD WATCH LIST.
PRAY FOR EGYPT
- Praise God for the steadfastness of Bishoy’s church in the face of opposition.
- Pray Bishoy’s church will not be discouraged, but rather strengthened as they practice their faith outside of church walls.
- Pray this will be an opportunity for authorities and extremists to be transformed through the gospel.
- Pray for comfort and healing over those injured during the ordeal.
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