Eyptian Military to Restore Burned Coptic Churches

The Egyptian military has reportedly begun rebuilding two churches destroyed in a fire set by radical Muslims earlier this month.

According to sources, the military-funded project will restore the St. Mina and St. George church in Soul, 18 miles south of Cairo.

Both churches had been destroyed by an angry mob after villagers apparently uncovered a romantic relationship between a Christian man and a Muslim woman.

In a subsequent protest staged by hundreds of Coptic Christians, last Tuesday, at least 13 people were killed while another 90 were injured.

Thousands of Muslim civilians had attacked the protesters with weapons including automatic rifles, in a report by the Assyrian International news Agency (AINA).

Egyptian soldiers later arrived, and allowed Muslims to hide behind tanks to fire unto Christians, as stated in an eyewitness account released by the Free Coptic Voice.

Between eight to 12 percent of Egypt's population of 80 million people is Christian.

Egypt's Coptic Christian minority had split with mainline Christianity in the fifth century over disputes with the definition of Christ's divinity.

Tensions continue to rise between the North African nation's Coptic minority and Muslim majority, in the wake of violence throughout this year.

At least 21 people were killed after a Coptic church in the town of Alexandria was bombed on New Year's Eve.

Less than two weeks later, a gunman killed a Coptic man and wounded five others on a train in Egypt.

Late February, a monk and six church workers were shot and wounded after the Egyptian military tore down a makeshift wall at the Coptic Orthodox monastery in Wadi Al-Natroun, 68 miles north of Cairo

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