Christians Attacked in Southern Egypt

Muslims, Christians clash in southern Egypt

ICC Note: “Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of Muslim protesters outside a church in southern Egypt Friday,” The Associated Press reports. “The demonstrators were demanding an investigation into allegations that a Christian man sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl.” Similar rumors, whether true or not, have stirred past incidences of anti-Christian violence in the country. Whether innocent or guilty, it is often the entire Christian community that pays for the ‘crime’.

By  Haggag Salama

01/18/2013 Egypt (ST) -Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of Muslim protesters outside a church in southern Egypt Friday. The demonstrators were demanding an investigation into allegations that a Christian man sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl.

Residents in the province of Qena said four shops owned by Coptic Christians were torched overnight after villagers accused one of the store owners of molesting the young girl.

Residents said protesters threw stones at the local church after midday Friday Islamic prayers. Police fired tear gas to scatter the crowd, which is in one of Egypt’s poorest areas.

Egypt’s Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the country’s 85 million people, have long complained of discrimination by the state. They are the largest Christian community in the Middle East.

Clashes between Copts and Muslims are usually sparked by church construction, land disputes or Muslim-Christian love affairs.

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