Egypt: Christians Attacked after Vacant Building Rumored to Become Church

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Egypt: Christians Attacked after Vacant Building Rumored to Become Church

A Muslim mob attacked Christian homes in Egypt after rumors circulated that one of the homes was being turned into a church.

According to, a group of Muslims gathered around one of the houses, which was owned by Coptic Christian Naim Aziz, on June 17 and began chanting, “By no means shall there be a church here.”

"A great deal of fanatic Muslims gathered in front of the new house of my cousin, Naim Aziz, during its construction because of a rumor spread in the village that this building would be turned into a church," Christian resident Mousa Zarif told International Christian Concern (ICC).

Aziz, however, said the house was for his son. It was not going to be a church.

The mob destroyed construction materials and attacked Naim and his brother. Both men were injured.

"They also intercepted the car of Fr Karas Naser, the priest of the Holy Virgin and the Archangel Michael Coptic Church when he arrived at the village," Zarif said.

"They attacked him but some moderate Muslims intervened, rescuing him from their hands and getting him out of the car."

Police reportedly did not stop the activity, but did arrest six Coptic Christians, including Aziz and his brother. Six Muslims were also arrested.

The Christians were charged for holding prayers without permission and building without a permit.

"The police and government authorities in Egypt cannot allow these attacks to go unpunished because the victims come from a minority faith. It is unspeakable that the victims of these attacks were charged with crimes while the perpetrators continue to enjoy total impunity," said William Stark, ICC's regional manager for South Asia.

"It continues to show how Christians in Egypt are treated like second class citizens. We call on the Egyptian authorities to ensure that justice is served and that Christian communities like this be protected from further assault in Egypt."

Publication date: June 21, 2016