01/04/2020 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Egyptian Christian houses were set on fire the evening of December 24th in Qena, according to Copts United News. The incident occurred just days before Coptic Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7th. The arson was done because the Christians had wanted to pray together in the days preceding Christmas. The village had requested that their church become legalized one year ago but no progress has since been made.
The presence of churches is a highly controversial issue within Egypt. The country’s laws heavily regulate this process, although less so compared to previous years. Churches are often an unwelcome presence in villages, even in cases where the population has a strong Christian demographic. Islamic extremists often do all within their power to prevent churches from operating, and to discourage Christians from living comfortably within villages.
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