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ICC Note: A congregation in Egypt is now forced to worship in the church courtyard because its building was badly burned by Islamic fundamentalists and the government has prevented them from getting the necessary permit to restore the church. The building has now become “life threatening” and so Christians now gather to worship outdoors.

09/15/2014 Egypt (Watani) – The congregation of al-Malaak Mikhail and Anba Antonius (St Michael and St Anthony) church in Diyabiya, Wasta, in Beni Sweif 100km south of Cairo, was reduced to worshipping in the church courtyard since the dilapidated church building has become life threatening.

Father Rizkallah Gouda, the priest of the church, told Watani that the church officials were having a very hard time trying to get an official permit to restore the church but were met with inexplicable intransigence on the part of Wasta town officials.

The Diyabiya church was torched by Islamic fundamentalists in August 2013 in an action of collective punishment against the Copts for their strong showing in the 30 June Revolution in 2013, which led to the overthrow of the Muslim Brothers.

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