ICC Note: A Christian community in Upper Egypt is fighting to keep a church from being demolished from a Muslim judge who has attempted to confiscate the land and destroy the building. The legal status of many churches across Egypt is often challenged, but this case represents one of the most egregious examples of official’s involvement in the destruction of a church.
11/03/2015 Egypt (Christian Post) – An Egyptian priest is calling on president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to protect his historic church from being demolished by a Muslim judge and his two sons who are trying to steal the land to build a shopping mall.
The U.S.-based Christian persecution monitoring agency International Christian Concern is reporting that the Greek Orthodox Church of Virgin Mary in Rashid City of the Beheira governorate continues to be victimized by attacks from a retired Muslim judge named Mohamed Mostafa Kamel Tirana and his two sons, who are also judges.
Since 2008, the family of judges have attempted numerous times to use their legal clout to take ownership of the church and its property. Although the church dates back to the 1840s, the judge maintains that the plot that the church sits on is his family’s ancestral land.
According to ICC, the judge claimed that he bought the property from the orthodox church in 1990. However, it wasn’t until 2008, when the Greek Orthodox Church gave the building to the Coptic Orthodox Church that the judge tried to file his alleged property purchase with the local real estate authority.