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Copts protest inside Beni Suef church to stop dome demolition 
 
ICC Note:

Coptic Christians protested in Al-Fashn, Upper Egypt after being told that their church’s dome would be demolished. “Al-Fashn town’s administration office said the contractors didn’t commit to the presidential permit regarding the restoration of the church,” reported Daily News Egypt. Christians in Egypt must receive government approval to restore churches, and permission signed by the president himself to construct a new church.

By Essam Fadl 
 
1/11/2011 Egypt (Daily News Egypt) – Copts protested inside the Ezbet Gaafar Church in Al-Fashn town, Beni Suef, after a decision by the city’s administration office to demolish the church’s dome.

Al-Fashn town’s administration office said the contractors didn’t commit to the presidential permit regarding the restoration of the church, which stipulated the demolishment of the old building and erecting a new one without a dome.

Security forces cordoned the church and increased its presence in the village in fear of any clashes between officials of the town administration and the resident Copts.

An official at the administration office told Daily News Egypt in a telephone interview that the church was built years ago, but Al-Fashn Archbishopric asked for demolishing the old building — citing cracks in the walls — and building a new one in its place.

“After issuing a Presidential Decree to demolish the old building and rebuild it with the attached drawings, the administration office issued the permit stressing on the importance of committing to the enclosed drawings,” the administration office official added.

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