“America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.” — Barack Obama, Cairo, June 4, 2009
“The State, the Security authorities and the Muslims all do not want any Churches, and the Muslim village inhabitants torched it because they just do not want any Churches.”
“Muslims Set Church Ablaze But Egyptian Security Implicates a Christian Copt,” from AINA, July 12 (thanks to all who sent this in):
(AINA) — In a continuation of the ongoing wave of arson attacks on Coptic places of worship, the Church of St. Abaskharion Kellini, in the village of Ezbet Bassilious, Beni Mazar, was burnt down at noon on July 11 by Muslim village inhabitants. No one was injured.
A source in Bani Mazar Diocese told Free Copts advocacy the fire was instigated and directed as usual by State Security, aiming “to prevent prayers in new churches throughout both the Upper Egyptian provinces of Minya and of Beni Suef.”
Reverend Abraham Phillobos, pastor of the torched Church told Coptic News Bulletin that the Security authorities are trying to falsely implicate the Copt Reda Gamal.
The Church was officially inaugurated on July 3 by the Bishop of Beni Mazar and was licensed for prayer. It was closed on that same day by State Security ‘for security reasons and to avert a sectarian crisis,’ and was placed under continuous guard.
Eyewitnesses named three Muslim village inhabitants Ahmed Abdelghani, Ahmed El-Qatawy and Eid Sayed Ahmad of torching the Church after spraying it with kerosene, according to Mikhael Fares of Copts United advocacy.
“The arson suspects went inside the church from a back door, but came out from the front of the burning Church in full view of the security guards,” said an eye witness to Coptic News Bulletin. “Guards were there and just watched; when they heard explosions they went and stood far. They saw everything and did nothing, which is evidence of collusion.”
“The State, the Security authorities and the Muslims all do not want any Churches, and the Muslim village inhabitants torched it because they just do not want any Churches,” an eyewitness who wished to remain anonymous told Coptic News Bulletin. “We have been warned by security not to talk to anyone especially with the Coptic media from abroad.”…