08/21/2020 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Local Egyptian officials in the New Valley Province (Frafra Center) have forced Christians to remove the burial plot of a young boy buried there four days earlier. The child, Samer Mark Maher, was buried on a piece of land behind Mary Mina Church as per usual practice. The governor, however, claimed that there were no permits and ordered that the Christians remove the body to a place far from Muslims.
A lawyer representing the Christians in this case said to local media, “The Copts (Christians) there don’t have an official place to bury their bodies. Usually, they were burying the bodies in land behind their church. The nearest village which contains Coptic burials is far, around 100 kilometres from the dead child’s village.”
He continues, “(The) council members and central administration are intransigent. They want to remove the Copts burials and move all of the Copts dead bodies to the other place. Even though the Copts have all the permits (since) four years ago, they received the land and surrounded it by steal.”
Egyptian authorities have the obligation to ensure burial places for citizens. But since the government is Islamic, and Christians cannot be buried in Muslim cemeteries, discrimination in death is not an unusual occurrence. A saying in Egyptian culture is that “burial honors the dead.” What the locals did by removing the boy after burial was an action that only increased the pain of the family. Since there is no local alternative to bury the child, the pain is doubled.
For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].