Coptic Orthodox Christians continue to be under severe persecution in Egypt. This incident is just the latest in their ongoing harassment, at times deadly, at the hands of Muslims, often with the tacit approval of the government. The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern. Visit their website at https://www.persecution.org/ for more on Christian persecution and genocide around the world. -- Tim Gamble
Children Traumatized and Three Injured in Attack on Egyptian Church
04/16/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian
Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on
April 12, 2019, a mob of extremists attacked the Church of Society of
Anba Karassof in Khalaf Allah Jaber village, located in Egypt’s Sohag
Governorate. As a result, the church was damaged, three people were
injured, Christian children attending Sunday School were traumatized,
and the church was closed to avoid further violence.
The mob, armed with knives and sticks, attacked the church at 4:00
p.m. on April 12 as Christian children were attending Sunday School
classes. According to local reports, a large iron gate delayed the mob
in their assault which allowed local police to arrive and disperse the
However, the mob was still able to inflict damage on the church and
injure several Christians, including two priests, Father Basil and
Father Pachomius, and one Coptic man, Asaad Bakhit Rizk Allah. Following
the attack, local police closed down the church in order to avoid
Though there were limited injuries, one local Christian woman said, “The
hardest emotion in that incident is the kids lived the incident in the
reality. They saw the extremists attacking the church and how they
injured the priests. This incident will hurt them psychologically in the
A day prior to the attack, the village mayor confiscated building
materials from the church and attempted to close down the church.
According to local reports, the mayor became frustrated with the local
church because the Coptic Christians were renovating their church
building in an attempt to accommodate their growing congregation of
nearly 1,300 Christians.
Though the church had applied for legal status in September 2017, it has yet to receive official authorization.
Commenting on the political environment surrounding the attack, one local said, “The
motivation of this incident [is] the constitution amendments. Many
Christians will accept it, while other Muslim [extremists] hate the
continuation of Sisi’s presidency. The Christians are always the victims
of this regime.”
To date, the Church of Society of Anba Karassof remains closed to
avoid additional violence. This is despite the fact that the Coptic
congregation is commemorating Holy Week and preparing for Easter. With
no other local church in the area, the congregation is likely to be left
without a formal worship space this Easter.
ICC’s Regional Manager, Claire Evans, said, “Egypt’s Christians
are often singled out during the celebration of Christian holidays, such
as Easter. President al-Sisi has taken symbolic steps of support for
the Coptic population. Now he must take action to protect the rights of
Christians to worship in their churches. More must be done to protect
Christians from both discrimination and violence.”
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