Middle East and North Africa

Seven Christians injured in an attack on an Egyptian church

Photo credit: watinet.com

Seven Christians were injured on 26 May, when a Muslim mob attacked an established church and Christian homes in the Egyptian village of al-Shuqaf in the Nile Delta.

On the afternoon of Saturday 26 May, Muslims meeting at a recently constructed mosque, near the church, began chanting anti-Christian slogans. The mosque’s loudspeakers were then used to encourage villagers to attack the church. As well as targeting the church, the mob also pelted stones at the homes of local Christians and damaged the church minister’s car.

Police then arrested eleven Muslims and nine Christians. Local sources have stated that police arrested Christians to force the Christian community to accept a “reconciliation” agreement, which means no legal action can now be taken against the perpetrators of the violence.

At the time of writing, the Christians have signed the agreement, which states that the church can remain open, although the Christians who were arrested have not yet been released.

The three-storey church building in the village has been in use for over three years and an application for the church to be formally recognised is currently pending.

In April, a village church in al-Kumeira which had recently been officially recognised was shut down as a result of mob violence. At the time of writing, the church remains closed, despite Christians signing a similar reconciliation agreement to secure the release of Christians arrested by police.