Islamic supporters of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi launched on
Wednesday arson attacks against churches, resulting in the destruction of at
least three buildings. Muslim Brotherhood supporters wreaked havoc on Coptic
Christian businesses and property throughout the country.
There may have
been more than 20 incidents of burning of churches and attacks on Christian
institutions, based on unconfirmed reports on Twitter from Coptic leaders and
organizations who are closely following the outbreak of anti-Christian
Bishop Anba Suriel, the bishop for the Coptic Orthodox Church
in Melbourne, wrote on his Twitter micro blog, “over 20 separate attacks on
churches and Christian institutions all over Egypt.”
Suriel added, ”These
attacks on the Copts is unprecedented in the modern era.” He called on the
international community not to be passive.
The Egyptian state news agency
Mena reported assaults on three churches, including the destruction of the Mar
Gergiss church. AFP reported that the attackers tossed firebombs at Mar Gergiss
in Sohag, on the west bank of the Nile. The city of Sohag has a large Coptic
AFP reported two churches were attacked in El-Menia province,
causing fire damage to both buildings.
There were reports that one of
Egypt’s oldest churches, the fourth century Virgin Mary in Minya, was engulfed in
Speaking with The Jerusalem Post from Ottawa, Irwin Cotler, a
former Canadian justice minister and current Liberal MP, said the “Army should
be providing more protection to the Copts.”
Cotler spearheaded a report –
Securing the Human Rights of Coptic Christians in Egypt After the Arab Spring –
in Canada’s Parliament in May to protect the rights of Copts and “hold those
responsible for attacks on Copts.”
The anti-Christian violence by radical
Islamists and Muslim Brotherhood supporters is taking place within “a general
culture of impunity,” he said.
Suriel complained on his Twitter feed that
Western media have ignored the violent attacks.
Dexter Van Zile, the
Christian media analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting
in America, told the Post, “The bishop has a legitimate beef with
The “silence is troubling” from “the people charged with
promoting human rights,” Van Zile said. “Progressive Christianity does not want
to confront Islamic violence.”
Van Zile added it is “outrageous” that
Copts are being scapegoated for the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated
Writing on the website of the conservative National
Review, Andrew C. McCarthy, a leading US expert on radical Islam, blamed
Western media reports for ignoring and distorting the “Islamic supremacist
aggression against Egypt’s Christians – which was a prominent feature of Muslim
He blasted Wednesday’s AFP report for
exculpating “the Islamic supremacists by editorializing, in the report, that
these were ‘reprisal’ attacks.”
McCarthy wrote, “The Brotherhood is not
‘retaliating’ against Christians. Islamic supremacists are persecuting
Christians... which is what they do in Muslim-majority countries.”
Egyptian news outlet Daily News reported “two churches in the Fayoum village of
Al-Nazla were set on fire, in addition to the local Christian Friendship
“Mary Mina Church and its services building were set on fire,”
said Basem Beshay, the media officer of the local Dostour Party
According to the Daily News, Beshay added, “The Third Apostolic
Church, its medical center and the house of the priest were set on fire by
Beshay said arson attacks targeted a Christian-owned
pharmacy and an interior design store in Minya.
The violence on Wednesday
comes after the shooting of a young Coptic girl in Cairo last week. After
completing her Bible class at the Ahmed Esmat Street Evangelical Church, Jessi
Boulus was shot. Her uncle works as a pastor at the church.
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