Extremists attack two Christian villages in Upper Egypt

9 May 2024

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Prayers are needed for Christians in southern Minya Governorate, Upper Egypt after separate attacks by Muslim extremists on two Christian communities.

Several houses belonging to Christians in Al-Fawakher village, around 150 miles south of Cairo, were set alight late on 23 April, according to a local Christian source. The attack on the village near the city of Samalut was launched in response to an attempt to build a new church.

“When religious fanatics failed to expel Christians from their homes as a form of punishment, the extremists burned down their houses while they were still inside,” the source reported.

The following day Church leader Anba Makarios said on his Facebook page that the authorities had contained the unrest and arrested those responsible.

On 26 April Muslim extremists attacked Christians in Al-Kom Al-Ahmar village after learning that a church had obtained a permit to construct a church building.

“The security forces moved to the village, and the situation was brought under control and a number of the perpetrators were being arrested,” a Christian advocacy group reported.

Around a third of Egypt’s Christians live in Minya Governorate. Christians, who make up 10% of the population of Egypt, say that their situation in the Muslim-majority country is now better than it has been in living memory. The president has been quick to give verbal and practical support to the Christian community whenever anti-Christian incidents occur and his government is working steadily to legalise churches following the repeal of Ottoman-era restrictions in September 2016.

Give thanks that the authorities were on the scene to prevent either incident escalating. Pray for continued protection of Christians in Egypt’s rural areas. Ask that homes damaged will be rebuilt.

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