An Egyptian Coptic Christian bishop has escaped an assassination attempt this week after his car was barraged with bullets as he drove through Minya province, the Assyrian International News Agency has reported.
Bishop Anba Makarios and his driver fled to the home of a local Coptic Christian but were pursued by gunmen who surrounded the house, shooting at it for over an hour and a half. Minya security forces were notified immediately but only arrived on the scene about 90 minutes after the gunmen left, according to reports.
The gunmen were protesting the bishop's decision to reopen a Christian church in the village that had been closed for the past decade, said Coptic activist Mark Ebeid. more >>
A family of six Christians has been expelled from the southern Egyptian city of Zakaria after they were unable to afford to pay a fine imposed on them after accusations made by Muslims in the region, according to the Assyrian International News Agency.
The incident was sparked when a Muslim family accused Kirollos Sabet, a Coptic Christian, of having an illicit relationship with a Muslim woman. Those accusations caused Muslim villagers to attack and vandalize his family's furniture and household appliance store, breaking items and looting it of many of its goods, the Bishop of Minya, Anba Makarios, described in a statement.
In that incident, while security forces did eventually arrive to halt the attack, they did not prevent some Muslims from verbally threatening Christians and throwing rocks at their homes. more >>
Khaled El-Zaafarani, a former Muslim Brotherhood leader, has revealed that the political party provides cover and support to extremist sympathysers, adding that they have no business in the country.
Zaafarani descrbed the repeated attacks on Christian Copts as "a despicable crime that has nothing to do with religion. The perpetrators will be judged guilty before God."
"The Muslim Brotherhood provides political cover to terrorist and takfirist groups in Kerdasa and Delga," he added. This, however, is a phenomenon that has existed throughout the Islamist era where extremists murdered Muslims and non-Muslims alike. more >>
A prominent Egyptian political activist has said Copts in the region surrounding Delga village, Deir Mawas, Minya in northern Egypt were greatly encouraged when army and police forces came to their aid and arrested Islamist terrorist elements in the area.
Hamdi el-Assiouty added that extremists and terrorism activities in general were dealt a "major blow" in Upper Egypt where Copts are a main target for Islamic groups.
"The terrorist hotbed that existed in Delga was a group of organized terrorists armed with various and dangerous weapons, and the storming by security forces came after plans, studies and inquiries," Assiouty told Mideast Christian News. more >>
After security forces stormed the village of Delga earlier this week and arrested a number of extremists wanted for assaulting police and vandalizing local churches, Egypt's Islamic party Gamaat Islamiya threatened to target Copts in retaliation.
In a statement issued by its political arm, the Building and Development Party, it said: "Any harassment to Delga's locals will ignite a state of ill-feelings towards its Christian locals, which needs to be prevented."
"The crackdown on Delga was made due to its anti-coup stance … ," according to the statement. "This campaign has proved that all claims of weapons stashed in the village are lies, as according to its announcement there was little or no resistance." more >>
Since Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was overthrown on July 3, his radical supporters have ruled the southern Egyptian city of Dalga, carrying out various attacks of vengeance against the city's 20,000 Christians, whom they blame for Morsi's overthrow. The military government took control of the city earlier this week, prosecuting the Islamists, but Christians fear the peace will be short-lived.
"The government and its forces are not going to be here for long and when they are gone we go back to living with Muslims, just us and them," Coptic Priest Father Ioannis told The Associated Press on Thursday.
"One day, all this police and army will go and we will have no one on our side," local Christian Sameer Hanna Tanyous said. more >>