Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Muslims barricade Christians in Egyptian...

Email:

Muslims barricade Christians in Egyptian village over church dispute

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Muslims barricade Christians in Egyptian village over church dispute

Country/Region: Egypt, Middle East and North Africa

Christians were barricaded in their Egyptian village by local Muslims who threatened to demolish a newly-built church and use it as a mosque.

The Christian residents of Elmarinab in Edfu, Aswan province, were blocked from leaving their homes, even to buy food, until the domes of St George’s Church were removed. The church minister said that doing so would cause the building to collapse.

church-building-in-Egypt-4X3.jpg
Christians face frequent harassment over church buildings in Egypt

The century-old church of St George was rebuilt – with permission from the Aswan governor – because its dilapidated state made it unsafe to use for services. Local Muslims made no complaint about the rebuilding until the work was nearly complete and services were being held there.

At a “reconciliation” meeting on 2 September, Christians – for the sake of peace – conceded to the Muslims’ demands that the building be stripped of crosses and bells, despite the permit allowing these items as well as the domes.  

But this was apparently not enough to placate the Muslims, who, four days later, demanded the removal of the domes also and any other sign of its being a church. They are claiming that the previous building was not a church but a hospitality home, despite valid documents to the contrary.

Escalating tensions

Security forces were called to intervene as Muslims blocked the roads to the village and Christians were trapped in their homes. Officers accompanied two Christian youths to buy food for the villagers. There are reports that Muslims destroyed their crops while the Christians were detained.

With tensions escalating, two army tanks arrived to protect villagers from violence early on Friday morning (9 September). But the Muslims were undeterred by the military presence, and chanting “Allahu Akhbar” (“God is great”), they called for the church to be razed. They threatened to demolish it after Friday prayers and use it as a mosque. Christian youths reportedly stayed inside the building to guard it from vandalism.  

The authorities demanded that no further construction be carried out or services held in the church, and that Muslims refrain from violence. There have been no subsequent reports of the Muslims carrying out their threats.

Muslims are often hostile to the construction of Christian places of worship in Egypt, and Christians face frequent harassment and sometimes violence as a result. Restrictions on church buildings make it difficult for Christians to obtain permission for new ones or even repair existing ones.  

At the end of July, eight Christians were injured when hostility over the installation of a church bell at a 100-year-old church in Ezbet Yacob, Minya province, turned violent. Muslims started attacking the building and assaulting Christians, including a pregnant woman. Six required hospital treatment.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Muslims barricade Christians in Egyptian village over church dispute

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Pray for the friends and family of Beatrice Mukashaka, an 18-year-old Christian woman, who was hacked to death in a savage attack by Muslims during an overnight prayer meeting at a church in Uganda. A group of around 20 Christians had gathered at the church in Kyegegwa district for their regular Friday night prayer session when armed Muslims burst into the building at around 2am. Please pray for all who mourn for Beatrice and that the assailants will be brought to justice. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 8 hours ago

    • Churches in Christian-majority Burundi are facing the unfamiliar situation of political restriction by their own government because of a new law passed in August that requires each church to have at least 500 members and a proper building. Congregations have a year in which to comply with the new regulations. Although intended to reduce some scandalous practices, the law is strangely reminiscent of the strict regimes of Central Asia. Pray that religious liberty will be maintained in Burundi, both for Christians and for the small minorities who follow other religions. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Pray for eight Cameroonian missionaries who have been harshly reminded of the cost of sharing the Gospel in their country during a training seminar to equip them for ministry. Barnabas had helped to fund a series of seminars, and on the final day of the last seminar they heard that Jean-Marcel Kesvere, another Cameroonian missionary, who had been planning to attend the seminar with his wife, had been kidnapped by Boko Haram and that his body had been found earlier that day. Give thanks for the response of the missionaries, who expressed their willingness to suffer similarly for Christ, and pray that their work will bear much fruit (John 12:24). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Please pray for Christians in northern Cameroon, where Boko Haram is terrorising people, especially Christians and security forces, just as in neighbouring Nigeria. The Islamist militants openly declare themselves to be Boko Haram, and issue threats by letter, including to pastors telling them they must leave. Two pastors were killed in the village of Assigashia on the night of 25-26 August, hich has caused great distress and consternation. The Cameroonian Christians ask for prayer that God will bring peace and security, that the kidnapped will be released, that believers will stand firm despite being targeted, that God will comfort the traumatised, and that church leaders will know how to prepare their people for persecution. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • “The cathedral in Damaturu now has only about 40 members instead of 450 members. The church in Potiskum now has only about 15 members instead of 500 members… the southern part of [Yobe state] is still very dangerous and most of the churches here have closed down.” A senior church leader in Nigeria wrote to Barnabas Fund in August about the impact on the Church of Boko Haram’s violence. Nevertheless Christians were still holding worship services every Sunday, discipling the young people and even commissioning pastors. Praise God for such perseverance, and pray that a Christian presence and witness may remain in north-east Nigeria. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks