The Crisis Management Committee of the Coptic Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod convened Monday 25 July to discuss the successive attacks waged by Muslim extremists against Copts in several provinces in Egypt, notably Minya and Beni Sweif, and which left one man dead, several injured, and Coptic homes and property damaged and burned. [http://en.wataninet.com/coptic-affairs-coptic-affairs/sectarian/the-copts-painand-bitterness/16916/]
Visiting Minya and Beni Sweif
Anba Pimen, head of the crisis management committee; and Anba Raphail, Secretary-General of the Holy Synod, presided over the meeting. Discussions centred around the expected fallout of the attacks against Copts whose only crime was that they were subjects of rumours which Muslim extremists used as pretexts to wage attacks against them. The attacks turned into collective punishment of the Coptic communities in the villages of al-Karm, Koum al-Loufi, Abu-Yacoub and Tahna al-Gabal in Minya, some 250km south of Cairo; and Saft al-Kharsa in Beni Sweif, some 100km south of the capital.
A statement by the committee declared that the meeting came in the wake of deliberations with the bishops of the parishes in which the attacks took place. This, the statement said, drove the committee to take a decision to visit Minya and Beni Sweif during the next few days and hold meetings with the bishops there to look into possible solutions with all the parties concerned. The aim is to put an end to incidents which represent serious violations of citizenship rights. The situation, according to the statement, must be swiftly addressed in context of a national framework that accords with State dignity and authority, the rule of law, and efforts to thwart attempts to create a rift between Egyptian Christians and Muslims. It must be realised, the statement expressed, that Egypt is in dire need of national unity and solidarity of all sectors of the Egyptian community to overcome the crises it is mired in and to realise the aspiration of an “Egypt for all Egyptians”.
28 July 2016