Coptic Christians Protect Monastery From Egyptian Army Assault | Persecution

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Coptic Christians Protect Monastery From Egyptian Army Assault

ICC Note:

The Egyptian military has threatened to demolish a fence surrounding a monastery even though it has the necessary permits, the Assyrian International News Agency reports. Hundreds of Coptic Christians mobilized outside the monastery to protect its walls the day the army was expected to arrive.

By Mary Abdelmassih

10/29/2011 Egypt (AINA) – Hundreds of Coptic Christians mobilized on Tuesday in front of the Monastery of the Virgin and St. John the Beloved, located on the Desert Road from Cairo to Ismailia. Although the Monastery has the necessary permits, the army had sent a message to the monastery that they would come on the next day, October 25, to demolish its fence, which guards it from unauthorized visits and criminals.

The official website of the Monastery warned of threats of a ” new massacre” by the Egyptian Armed Forces, and the removal of its fence, pointing out that the Monastery was built in 2002 and is under the supervision of the secretariat of H.H. Pope Shenouda.

When the Army vehicles with demolishing equipment arrived at the monastery, they were met by priests, monks, deacons and Copts all dressed up in white for mass, holding wooden crosses, praying and singing hymns.

Other Copts flocked to the Monastery, which lies 80 miles from Cairo, on hearing of the news.

Upon seeing this congregation of Copts in front of the Monasteery, Brigadier Shukry, who issued the demolition order, ordered his unit to withdraw. Church sources said that this might mean that he intends to implement the removal orders without prior warning to avoid the gathering of Copts.

Army engineers later came to the monastery, filmed the fence and the crowds, and said that the images will be sent to the commander of the army to decide what will be done.

Bishop Botros, Pope Shenouda’s secretary and General supervisor of the Monastery of Our Lady and St. John, said that relative calm returned to the Monastery by the evening, pointing out that the Monastery holds the official papers and licenses from the authorities. He expressed fears of renewed threats and attack on the monastery again.

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