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Monday, August 19, 2013

At Coptic church destroyed by mob, uncertainty about Egypt's future




Father Boutros Samy, 46, heads the Coptic church of St. Mark in the Cairo suburb of Maadi. His place of worship was full of people on Sunday. Any attacks on Christians are carried out by a tiny percentage of the population, he said, and that most Egyptians want to find a quick and peaceful resolution to the current crisis.

"The Egyptian people themselves, they are not fanatic," Samy said.  they are not the ones who believe in the fanatic thinking, those are a minority.



By Ayman Mohyeldin and Charlene Gubash, NBC News

KERDASA, Egypt – Guards stood inside the scorched and ransacked interior of a decades-old church Sunday in the village of Kerdasa, not far from the pyramids at Giza, the sanctuary's altar destroyed and charred fragments of scripture scattered on the floor.

The Archangel Michael Church about 16 miles from Cairo this week became another victim of the violence sweeping Egypt, the guards said. The attack came after supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi were driven from opposition camps in Cairo by security forces on Wednesday, setting off a wave of violence that has claimed more than 800 lives.

The Christian house of worship, which is located in a poor and mostly agrarian area on the outskirts of Cairo, was vandalized and burned by a crowd on Wednesday, church guards said.
A chandelier, various holy texts, and pictures of Jesus were among the debris left scattered in the church complex's courtyard.

"We were about six people here, and they attacked us, about 1,000 people. There were a lot of them and they were very fierce. They had Molotovs [gas bombs] and knives," church guard Rida Gaballah told NBC News.

"There were so many and they were very fierce. We couldn't stand in front of them, they had Molotovs and swords and knives," Gaballah said. "We ran off. Some of us got hurt from them throwing stones."

In the past, there would often be a policeman outside the church, Gaballah said, but on the day of the attack the police station had been set on fire, and no officers responded when the church was vandalized.

Graffiti sprayed on the walls of the church built in the 1940s read "Allah u Akbar" ["God is Great"], "Egypt is Islamic," and "Sisi is a Murderer," referring to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The church is the only one in the surrounding area, Gaballah said.
Members of the minority faith and their Muslim neighbors have existed peacefully side by side in the area for years, Gaballah said, but that changed after the July ouster of Morsi amidst widespread popular protests.

"Historically the relations were fine between Muslims and Christians in this area, it only got turned upside down when Morsi left power," Gaballah said. "When they cleared Rabaa and Nahda, they destroyed this church and the whole country."

While Gaballah said he could forgive the crowd that allegedly ransacked the church, another guard said the community was terrified by the incident.

"We are living in fear, God protect us," said church guard Abdel Munim Bishoi. "Imagine the people that did this to the church – they could do the same to anyone or anywhere else."
"We are still afraid and we are afraid for our children," Bishoi said.

The Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, vehemently denied on Friday that their members were involved in attacks on churches in the country where Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of the population.
A spokesman for the party, Dr. Morad Ali, said on Friday that web pages purporting to have a connection to the party were fakes.
"[The party] stands firmly against any attack — even verbal — against churches," Ali said in a statement. "Our revolution is peaceful."

Father Boutros Samy, 46, heads the Coptic church of St. Mark in the Cairo suburb of Maadi. His place of worship was full of people on Sunday. Any attacks on Christians are carried out by a tiny percentage of the population, he said, and that most Egyptians want to find a quick and peaceful resolution to the current crisis.

"The Egyptian people themselves, they are not fanatic," Samy said.  hey are not the ones who believe in the fanatic thinking, those are a minority."

His church did not need more protection from the police or military Samy said – and if it was damaged, he said the community that worships there would carry on.
"I don't think that we really need a big staff of military people surrounding the church, because at the end of the day, I am telling you the Egyptians will not allow the minority to do these harmful attacks to our churches," Samy said. "We have faith in the country, I have faith in the people. I believe in the people, Christians or Muslims.

NBC News' Matthew DeLuca and Henry Austin contributed to this report.

10 comments:

  1. "We have faith in the country, I have faith in the people. I believe in the people, Christians or Muslims."

    Faith in the Christ is what is needed.
    And living in Christ can be sooo very painful.
    That is part of the experience.
    Suffering for the Truth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The "people" used to include Jews. But they were ethnically cleansed after living there for almost 3000 years.

      But that is fiction. There never were Jews in Egypt. Ever. And if they were there? They were occupiers or carpet baggers. Just ask that guy with the coat of many colors...

      Delete
  2. Official Palestinian Authority radio expressed hope and certainty that Israel, which was referred to as "occupied Palestine," will cease to exist. The Voice of Palestine radio announcer directed her comments to Israel's Arabs in its holiday broadcast last week:

    "Our people in occupied Palestine... our people in Acre, Nazareth, Tiberias, Haifa and Jaffa... one day Palestine will be Palestine again!"
    Let's go to the videotape.

    Radio announcer: "Greetings to all our listeners and happy holiday to you, our people in occupied Palestine (i.e., Israel), 1948 Palestine, the 1948 territories (i.e., Israel, created in 1948)... Greetings to our people in Acre, Nazareth, Tiberias, Haifa and Jaffa (all Israeli cities)... May your Palestinian identity be rooted in your hearts and minds. Allah willing, one day Palestine will be Palestine again!"

    [Voice of Palestine (official PA radio), Aug. 8, 2013]


    In the end the reality is the reality.

    israel is here to stay, regardless of arab opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. In the end the reality is the reality.

    israel is here to stay, regardless of arab opinion.


    I'm also of that opinion.
    Long live Israel.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The inconvenient truth?

    Jews are the indigenous people of the lands of Palestine.

    They were driven off their lands by romans, assyrians, brit, kurds, christians, turks and arabs to name a few.

    They have LIBERATED a small portion of their historic lands, they have a pluralistic society that welcomes arab, christian, muslim, druze, gay, bahai and others to be full citizens.

    Now the "fake" nationalistic people called "palestinians" what a state that will not contain ONE Jew.

    Now that is apartheid.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It will be a wonder to behold if/when Israel lets the dogs out to destroy the enemies of the Lord.
    That they will be crushed, I have no doubt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But in a quaint way, watching the enemies, and I DO mean enemies of Israel and the L-rd destroy themselves is quite interesting too...


      Think of it.

      Almost every arab capital is in flames, not by the west, not by christians or jews... But by the very sword they have used against the christian, jew, druze, bahai.

      The suicide bombers they used against Israel? Now are common place used against each other.

      Delete
    2. there is one group of muslims that sleep safe at night...

      They are citizens of Israel.

      they sleep well KNOWINg their nation, Israel, protects all citizens.

      How's that for a "apartheid" nation?

      LOL

      Delete
  6. It's time to give the syrian refugees a place to live, to call their own, as well as the palestinians...

    Let's give them Detroit.

    ReplyDelete