A group of Muslims attacked a Christian village in southern Egypt last week in an attack that injured two Coptic believers and a firefighter, each of whom needed to be hospitalized.
The Minya Coptic Orthodox Diocese announced that at least four Christian homes in the village of Demshaw Hachem were attacked and looted last Friday by “extremists” who objected to the houses being used as churches.
“Extremists attacked Copts, stole quantities of jewelry and money, destroyed household appliances and set fire to property,” the diocese’s statement reads, according to AFP.
Those who attacked the homes were either residents of the village or came from nearby areas.
The attack came as the threats and reports of an attack on the Christian community had been rumored for several days.
Although the church informed authorities of the threat of a possible attack, the diocese statement explains that authorities only came to the Christians’ aid after the attack occurred. As many as 38 suspects have reportedly been arrested in connection with the attack.
According to Middle East Eye, the diocese believes that the lack of proactive measures from authorities contributed to the impact of the attack.
“The likelihood of the recurrence of such attacks is very high, as long as the perpetrators are not punished,” the diocese said.
As approximately 10 percent of the Egyptian population is Christian, Egypt currently ranks as the 17th worst nation in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2018 World Watch List.
In Egypt, Christians often face restrictions on building places of worship. When they do manage to gather for worship, Copts often face hostility.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith