ICC Note: The families of the 21 Coptic Christians murdered by ISIS militants last month continue to face persecution as they attempt to erect a church in honor of their martyred loved ones. According to reports, a mob of Muslim extremists arrived at the community’s present church chanting that they would not permit the construction of the new church. The scene soon turned violent as some of the members of the mob began throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the church, injuring several.
By Steven Edwards
05/31/2015 Iraq (Fox News) – Relatives of the Coptic Christians beheaded last month by jihadists in Libya – their deaths immortalized in a gory video set against the backdrop of a Mediterranean beach – are facing new extremist-Muslim violence as they seek to build a church to honor their murdered loved ones.
An angry mob in the Upper Egyptian village of al Our – proposed site of the church because it was home to 13 of the 21 Christians murdered in the mass “beachfront” decapitation – descended on the community’s current church after the midday Islamic prayer Friday and chanted that they’d never allow construction of the new place of worship to begin, witnesses told Egyptian activists in the U.S.
Things turned far uglier after nightfall, the witnesses said, as a smaller number of individuals threw Molotov cocktails and stones at the church, injuring several people, and setting cars ablaze, including one that belonged to a relative of one of the victims of the Libyan massacre.
“The police came, but after the attack,” said Mina Abdelmalak, a Coptic Christian living in Washington who is in close contact with the witnesses to the events in al Our. “There were already cars on fire. People had been bloodied. Stones and bricks had been thrown.”
Some protesters also appeared at the family home of massacre victim Samuel Alham Wilson, but, in a gesture that provided some hope, were chased off by Muslim neighbors when the protestors started throwing stones.
Copts are the native Christians of Egypt, accounting for about 10 percent of the country’s 88 million people.
While they have traditionally faced varying levels of persecution in the mainly Muslim country, the Copts of al Our – a village on the Nile about 125 miles south of Cairo – have additionally been in deep mourning since the Islamic State released its video Feb. 15 showing the beheading of the Christians – 20 of them Copts, the other from Ghana.