Egypt: Church attacked while being built

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Hundreds of Muslim youths attacked a village church under construction in Minya, Egypt, last month.

According to International Christian Concern, the church being built in Swada was closed by the village mayor despite having obtained the official permits required for its construction.

Due to prohibitive restrictions, the Coptic community in Swada had struggled with the Egyptian bureaucracy for years to obtain the permits to construct a church in the village. But even after getting the proper paperwork completed, local officials prevented any public building of the church, so instead it was was clandestinely constructed as a single story house. After the Coptic congregation added an altar inside the unfinished building, they began holding secret prayer meetings on Sundays mornings.

But when the mayor of Swada discovered what was happening, he tried unsuccessfully to confiscate the church keys. But soon after the mayor left the church, a crowd of more than 400 Muslim villagers attacked the structure, destroying its marble, ceramics and wood building materials while injuring some of the Coptic workers.

Following the attack, the mayor returned and confiscated the church keys. Police then closed the building and posted guards around it, keeping Muslims as well as Christians away who wanted to pray inside.