UK Church reports over 100 attacks on Christian properties in Egypt

Christians across Egypt have been attacked following the removal of President Mohamed MorsiAP

The Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK has received reports of over a hundred attacks on churches and other Christian buildings in Egypt since the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi.  

In addition to churches, attacks have been carried out on Christian homes, businesses, institutions and individuals.  

It has published a full list of the properties attacked between 14 and 22 August here

At least seven Christians have been killed in the violence that ensued after the military broke up sit-ins by supporters of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.  

The violence has killed over 830 people, including 70 policemen.

General Bishop in the UK Coptic Orthodox Church, Bishop Angaelos said the scale of the violence was "devastating".

"To see so many lives lost whether of victims or perpetrators is not only a loss to families and communities, but a loss to the nation and to humanity as a whole," he said.

"At this point and without reservation or exception we offer our prayers for all those who mourn; those who have lost loved ones, who have been injured, or who feel more powerless than they did."

The bishop went on to condemn any rhetoric that incites further violence and called for a restoration of peace and reconciliation.

He also rejected accusations that Copts were "Western sympathisers", and called for a "thorough investigation" into the attacks on the churches.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported this week that some churches were cancelling services either because of the extent of damage to their buildings or for fear of further attacks.

In Minya, there were reports of Christian shops and businesses being marked with a black cross to single them out for attack.

Human Rights Watch demanded an investigation into reports that the security forces and military were largely absent during attacks on Christian properties.

It also reported claims by some supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood that Copts had played a role in the removal of Morsi.

"For weeks, everyone could see these attacks coming, with Muslim Brotherhood members accusing Coptic Christians of a role in Mohammad Morsi's ouster, but the authorities did little or nothing to prevent them," said Joe Stork, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

"Now dozens of churches are smoldering ruins, and Christians throughout the country are hiding in their homes, afraid for their very lives."

More News in World