Construction work is ongoing to rebuild an external room annexed to the fencing wall of the church of Mar-Girgis (St George) in the Cairo district of Hammamat al-Qubba. The room, which serves as a shelter for the policemen assigned by the local security authority to guard the church, had been pulled down by the local building authority a few days earlier.
Following the demolition, Mar-Girgis church officials issued a statement explaining that the room had been built upon demand of the security authority which also actually constructed it. The statement declared that Mar-Girgis’s had been keen to follow all the security instructions it had received from the authorities; these include the construction of walls and a room to house the security unit charged with defending the church. The church, the statement said, was thus sorry to see the district and security authorities pull down the room without any demolition permit.
A church official explained to Watani that the room had been built directly once the security demand was made, but by the time it was completed a new district head was appointed who decided that, in violation of the specifications, the room was too large. He thus ordered it demolished. “But it was not the church that had built it,” the official said; “ it was the local authority.”
Once the statement was made public, the church received a visit by General Muhammad Ayman, Vice Governor of Cairo, who was received by Anba Marcos, Bishop of Hadayeq al-Qubba and al-Waili, and the district head. It was agreed that the district building authority should remove the rubble left over by the demolition, and should rebuild the security guard room with the new specifications.
29 May 2018