Churches Burned in Egypt Amid Riots, Christian Minorities Plead for Protection Against Brutality

Following the forceful removal of demonstrators upset over the ousting of former President Mohammad Morsi, supporters's violence continues to mar the country. And it seems the Christian minority in Egypt taking the brunt of the frustration.

Reports from the country reveal that there have been dozens of attacks on Copts, their churches, homes and businesses in recent days.

Bishop Angaelos, the Cairo-born head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, revealed that at last count he had heard that 52 churches had been attacked with other unconfirmed reports saying hundreds of Copts had been attacked.

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Ishak Ibrahim, a researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, revealed that attacks were also being carried out on school, cultural centers and state buildings, particularly in the Upper Egyptian governorates such as Minya, according to CNN.

In a statement Wednesday, the Egyptian cabinet called on the Muslim Brotherhood leaders to stop harming national security and demanded they bear responsibility for the bloodshed and current rioting witnessed in the country.

"The government will strictly confront attempts to attack public property, police stations or the vital businesses owned by the Egyptian people," the statement read. "[The government] warns that it will use different means to arrest those involved in such actions to protect the people's property."

The government stressed the need to ensure the rights of the Egyptian people to express their opinions peacefully in the framework of the law while protecting the freedom of others and the security of the Egyptian community.

Supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi have been rioting throughout Egyptian governorates since security forces broke up the sit-in at Rabaa el-Adaweya and Nahda squares. The sit-ins were dismantled at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

Attackers were said to have broken into Virgin Mary and Father Ibraam Monastery in the Degla village. Setting fire to three churches and six services buildings and marched in the village chanting against the Copts. Some were seen surrounding their homes and assaulting Copts with stones given the lack of security present. The crowd also set fire to a church services building that was part of the Mar Mina el-Agaby Church in the southern part of the province. There were also reports of the Evangelical Baptist church in Beni Mazar sustaining extensive damage amid the chaos.

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