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Egypt’s Christians and Muslims clash as church bells ring

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] <a href="http://www.csw.org.uk/Latestnews.asp?item=243" target="_blank">http://www.csw.org.uk/Latestnews.asp?item=243</a>

Egypts Christians and Muslims clash as church bells ring

Coptic Christians who gathered to celebrate the first Mass in their new church were pelted with rocks and firebombs according to news agency Compass Direct.

The attack on the small village church near El-Minya, 140 miles south of Cairo, happened on Sunday February 10.

Accounts of the numbers of those injured in the clashes vary. Reuters reported 11 injuries, including two policemen, while Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV stations Arabic news reported ten Coptic Christians were injured and 35 nearby homes destroyed.

Later reports suggested only 15 homes were burned with a number of others looted. Security police cordoned off the nearby village of Bani El-Walmous and independent observers have been unable to assess the damage or get an accurate number of those injured.

Security forces told Reuters that after a Muslim mob pelted the church with rocks, Coptic Christians responded by firing shotguns at their attackers.

Muslims were apparently upset by the ringing of the churchs bells, despite the local authorities having been told beforehand about the form the inauguration ceremonies would take.

Sources in Egypt report that it took police four hours to arrive and restore order. According to an official government statement, 43 people were taken in for questioning.

This attack is the latest in a string of assaults on new churches built by Copts who make up more than ten percent of Egypts population. On December 16 a church at Al-Ubor on the outskirts of Cairo was destroyed by local police forces, according to the U.S. Copts Association.

Christians believe the attacks on churches are provoked by the Hamayouni Decree which bans churches from being built without a permit from President Mubarak himself.

Permission can take years or even decades to acquire and the resultant delay gives government officials and Muslims a pretext to destroy churches on the grounds that they have been illegally constructed.

These actions, which have resulted in the destruction of at least nine churches in the last five years, are frequently left unpunished by the government.

Stuart Windsor, National Director of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, said: Christians in Egypt have long been discriminated against and not given the full protection of the state.

We call on President Mubarak to ensure that these incidents are fully investigated and to bring legislation regarding the construction of churches in line with that governing the construction of mosques."
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mika.
post #2 of 2
The Coptic church probably has the oldest Liturgy and they speak Aramaic in their Rites and Rituals . That's the language Jesus supposedly spoke.
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"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

Reply
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