Egypt: Christian girl shot dead. Churches torched

August 18, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Egypt, August 15, 2013: Supporters of ousted president Mohammad Morsi have gone on the rampage against Christians in Egypt. A ten-year-old girl was gunned down as she was walking home from her Bible study class, and churches and other Christian property have been torched by rioters.

A church in Sohag set ablaze by enraged Morsi supporters

A church in Sohag set ablaze by enraged Morsi supporters

Jessi Boulus, an only child, was killed and dozens of others injured as Morsi supporters opened fire on people as they were leaving a church in Ain Shams, a Cairo suburb, last Tuesday (8 August).

The ten-year-old was the pastor’s niece. Her father Boulus told the BBC:

Jessi was everything to us. Her killers didn’t know that Jessi was my life – my future. They killed our future…

I’m telling you in the West that your taxes and government money go towards supporting the killing here – by funding Islamist political parties.

Egyptian Christians have come under frequent attack since the uprising that led to Morsi’s removal; they are being scapegoated for his fall.

At least seven have been killed, scores injured, and homes, churches and other Christian property destroyed.

On Wednesday (14 August), Morsi supporters, enraged by the storming of their protest camps in Cairo by the security forces, launched attacks on churches and other Christian property.

More than 20 churches have been attacked in different parts of the country, including St George’s Church in Sohag, Upper Egypt, which was burnt to the ground. Last week, the al-Qaeda flag had been raised over St George’s.

Al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is from Egypt, has said that Egyptian Christians were plotting to overthrow Morsi to create “a Coptic state stripped from Egypt’s south”.

Elsewhere, in Delga, Minya, a church was looted and the homes of 18 Christians, including the church’s minister, looted and torched. Having been incited to “defend Islam” over the mosque loudspeakers, the mob then set fire to another three churches in Delga.

Churches in Assiut, Suez and Alexandria were also targeted. The Bible Society’s headquarters in Cairo were attacked, and its bookshops in Assiut and Minya burnt to the ground. Three Christian schools were also set ablaze and a number of Christian-owned businesses destroyed.

Last week, 16 Egyptian human rights organisations issued a joint statement condemning “clear incitement to violence and religious hatred” by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies. They expressed “grave concern regarding the increasing sectarian violence which has targeted Christians and their churches since the June 30 uprising”.

The human rights groups also criticised the state for failing to prevent the attacks, adding:

The prosecution should call for an independent investigation to determine what led to inadequate protection being provided to Christians, their property, and their places of worship, whether by military or the police.

– barnabas team

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