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
  • Iranian pastor Farshid Fathi hospitalised after beating by prison guards http://ow.ly/w4Liq 20 hours ago

  • Young Christian man killed by Muslim co-worker in Pakistan for refusing to convert to Islam http://ow.ly/w1Uum Tue, Apr 2014 15:22

  • Christians driven out of Maaloula by Islamist rebels long to return after its recapture by the Syrian army http://ow.ly/vTrgN Thu, Apr 2014 16:37

  • Islamic parties make unexpected gains in Indonesian elections http://ow.ly/vR60m Wed, Apr 2014 16:46

Daily prayer

Daily prayer_icon
  • Praise God for the release of John Short, an Australian missionary who was detained in North Korea for distributing Christian leaflets. John, who is 75 and based in Hong Kong, was reported to security officials in Pyongyang after he was spotted leaving a Christian leaflet at a Buddhist temple, an act that is illegal in North Korea. Further Korean-language Christian pamphlets were subsequently found in his hotel room. John, who was released on 3 March after two weeks in custody, was required to sign a confession probably scripted by the authorities. Other foreign missionaries arrested in North Korea have been given long prison sentences. Give thanks to God that John has escaped further punishment, and pray for him as he recovers from his traumatic ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 12 hours ago

  • Pray for Barnabas Fund partners in South Sudan who have been supporting Christians forced from their homes by violence. Conflict between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar in December and January displaced around 860,000 people. Churches were burned down and a number of pastors killed, while many people lost their belongings and were left destitute. Give thanks that churches in and around the capital, Juba, were able to provide food and other essentials to many families with help from Barnabas. Pray that they may continue to be salt and light in their country at this unstable time (Matthew 5:13-16), and that it will soon be safe for displaced Christians to return home. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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