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ICC Note: After dozens of churches and other Christian-owned properties were attacked in August 2013 the government and military made promises to repair or rebuild many of the churches. Despite those promises, the vast majority of the repairs remain far from complete. Some estimates say only 10 percent of the work has been completed, leaving some Christians to worship in the burned-out shells of their church buildings.

10/22/2014 Egypt (CS Monitor) – At the Amir Tadros Church in Minya, worshipers pray in what amounts to a building site. Nestled among the scaffolding, a bright blue sign proclaims that work will be completed by June. Last June.

The church in this Upper Egyptian city of a quarter million people, home to one of the largest concentrations of Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority, was one of dozens of Christian properties and places of worship destroyed across Egypt on Aug. 14 last year.

In Minya, mobs chanting Islamist slogans led the charge, looting and burning in response to a state-led massacre unfolding 150-miles away in Cairo, where Muslim Brotherhood-backed demonstrators were protesting the military coup that overthrew the democratically-elected Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi.

Egypt’s Christian community, about 10 per cent of the country’s 84 million people, usually defers to the authority of the leader of the day, wary of rocking the boat and marginalizing itself further.

And the Coptic Church, representing the majority of Egypt’s Christians, threw its weight behind Morsi’s overthrow. Pope Tadros even stood behind Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, then the army chief and now president, as he announced the military’s takeover in a televised address.

By sunrise that Aug. 15, the Amir Tadros church had been reduced to four scorched walls, encasing only rubble and ash. Although Egypt’s Army has promised to rebuild this and other churches, there’s been little progress. By some estimates, only 10 percent of the work has been completed nationwide.

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