The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom warned that radical attacks on Christians in Egypt are spiraling out of control.
"It is regrettable that the time has come yet again to speak of heightened, targeted attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt. Tensions against Egypt's indigenous Christian community have again escalated over the past few months, and will spiral even further if not immediately addressed," said Bishop Angaelos.
The attacks come as rumors fly over affairs between Christians and Muslims and over rumors of new churches being built.
"At their most brutal, these recent attacks have culminated in the burning of churches and places of worship, the stripping and public parading of 70-year-old Souad Thabet, and the senseless murder of Father Raphael Moussa," he said.
Thabet was made to walk naked through a village by a Muslim mob in Menia, Egypt. In May, Christian homes were looted and destroyed.
In June, a Christian home was set afire by a mob of about 5,000 because of a rumor the house was set to become a church. That month, a Coptic priest was shot and murdered in Al Arish.
This month, a Coptic pharmacist was stabbed and beheaded; five Christian homes were torched; a Coptic Church was burned; a 27-year-old Coptic Christian man was stabbed to death; and the families of priests were attacked in the village of Tahna al-Gabal.
"There has been a spiral of attacks in the last three months. They are almost weekly now,” Bishop Angaelos said. “Egypt is in a very vulnerable position. People are frustrated and vulnerable to radicalization."
Publication date: July 25, 2016