ICC NOTE: when the Muslim Brotherhood was ousted by current president El-Sisi and the Egyptian military, around 65 churches and numerous amounts of Christian property were destroyed or damaged in the ensuing violence. Since the protests in 2013, very few churches and property have been restored to it original condition. President El-Sisi promised restoration would take place and apologized over Christmas while visiting Cairo’s St. Mark Cathedral stating the construction will be completed by the end of 2016. Since the initiative began, the religious group Family house has received $8,000 for a project that will cost $25.5 million. The process is slow but there is hope as seven churches have been restored.
2/8/2016 Egypt (AINA) – After Egypt President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi apologised for not finishing the reconstruction work of Christian properties damaged in the aftermath of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in 2013, the engineering unit of the Armed Forces immediately started cooperating with Coptic authorities to wrap up the pending renovations, religious Coptic figures said.
While visiting Cairo’s St. Mark Cathedral on Christmas Eve, El-Sisi apologised to the country’s Christians over the delay in the completion of renovations, which he says will be done by the end of 2016.
The churches undergoing renovation were attacked in August 2013 on the day of the dispersals of pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo, with the ensuing hours seeing sectarian attacks against Christians in Upper Egypt, where the Coptic population is relatively large.
El-Sisi, who was defence minister at the time, immediately announced that the Armed Forces would pay the costs of renovating and rebuilding all churches damaged in the attacks, which lasted over 12 hours.
In October 2013, the Egyptian Family House called for an initiative to renovate the damaged houses of worship and opened a bank account to receive donations.
The Family House is an authority launched by Egypt’s Al-Azhar — the country’s highest Muslim Sunni authority — and all Egyptian churches immediately after the deadly 2011 bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria, one of the most infamous attacks on churches in the country’s modern history.
The Family House’s mission is to unite Muslim and Christian Egyptians to ease sectarian strife.
Safwat El-Bayadi, the former head of Egypt’s Evangelical Church and a member of the Family House, told Ahram Online that “unfortunately, we only received EGP 9 million and $8,000 since the initiative started, which is a very small amount of money in relation to the damages.”
Restoration work sponsored by the Armed Forces will cost some EGP 200 million ($25.5 million).