A Call for Help From the Coptic Community in Wesh Elbab, Beni Sueif
In a letter they wrote to Dr. Selim Naguib of Canadian Coptic Association, the Copts community in West Elbab state about the mistreatment they are facing from local government officials.
Tuesday, 28 January 2008 Egypt (The Free Copts)-1000 Copts in the village of Wesh Elbab , Beni Sueif were forced to pray out in the open on the site of their collapsed church.
Our community numbers 6000 Copts. On January 16th, 2008 we obtained a permit to renovate the ailing church of St Mina in our village. The church was built in 1960, and suffered structural damage as a result of the 1992 earthquake.
Building works started as stated on our permit application, which was approved by the relevant authorities. On the second day of work and after the builders left the site at 5:00pm we were contacted by the security guards at the church who reported the walls of the church had completely collapsed into the church interior as a result of digging and sewerage maintenance works in the street. Heavy rains fell that day also contributed to the collapse of the walls.
Even though we have eyewitness testimony to the cause of the church collapse, the police accused the congregation of tearing down the church building and subsequently prohibited any renovation work from proceeding and ordered that no prayers can be held in the site either.