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ICC Note:

Christians in Minya province, Egypt tried to worship on Sunday but were intercepted by radical Muslims and fights broke out. Officers said that the church is not licensed and Christians cannot worship there, despite Christians’ efforts to obtain a license. Radical Muslims often protest an unlicensed gathering of Christians. Christians have expressed how difficult it is to gain licensing for a church while it is very easy for a mosque to be licensed.   

08/21/2017 Egypt (Egypt Independent) – Calm returned to Ezbat al-Forn, of Abyouha village in Abu Qurqas city of Minya governorate on Monday, following skirmishes Sunday between Christians and Muslims.

According to head of Abu Qurqas city council, Brigadier Mohamed Salah, fights broke out on Sunday after some Coptic citizens in the village of Ezbat al-Forn tried to pray at the house of a citizen under the guidance of a priest, prompting some Muslims to intercept for not possessing a license.

 

Abu Qurqas prosecutors ordered the seizure of the house, until administrative authorities decide on whether or not to transfer a license and turn it into a church.

They also ordered the arrest of suspects in the fight.

Major General Essam al-Bedaiwy, governor of Minya, confessed to tensions between Muslims and Copts in some “very limited” areas of Minya .

“The state has a comprehensive plan to break into the strongholds of social tensions in the governorate, which lead to the emergence of the so-called sectarian strife, although it is not sectarian,” the governor said.

Similar clashes recur in some Minya areas like Samalut and Abu Qurqas when Christians buy a house and hold prayers inside regularly without obtaining a license. Muslim residents will interfere to prevent clashes, he added.

 

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