Four years ago the Coptic Church of St Abram in Shubra al-Khaima received a permit to build an additional “services building.” And for the same four years, seven “thugs”—in the words of the Arabic language report—have been preventing the church from building the services building, including by mobilizing the areas Muslims to demonstrate against, and threaten, the church.
According to Fr. Bayman, “after suffering many long years,” on June 2, 2011, the church managed to acquire the necessary permit to build the adjacent building; but then the next obstacle presented itself in the persons of the aforementioned seven “thugs” who constantly harass, and incite Muslim mobs, against the church, whenever it tries to exercise its right to build the services building.
Sharia, or Islamic law, forbids the building of new churches or the renovation of existing churches. The fact that the building the church is trying to build is technically not a church but a services building does not seem to have impressed local Muslims who are determined to see no augmentation to the “infidel” place of worship.
Local and national authorities have done nothing to help the Church of St. Abram, despite constant pleas, and despite the fact that the church is in the legal right to build.
Desperate, Fr. Bayman just wrote to President Sisi imploring him to intervene.
Sisi received great support during the anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution from the nation’s Coptic community—evinced by the “retribution” meted out by Brotherhood sympathizers and others, which culminated in the destruction of dozens of churches in Egypt–and many have high hopes in him.