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Police guards Coptic community centre against threats

Nader Shukry

29 Jul 2016 6:55 pm

The security apparatuses in 15th May satellite town south of Cairo instantly responded to a call for help sent by a priest in charge of a Coptic Orthodox community service centre in the town, who said he had received threats from Muslim extremists that they would burn the building.
Since Coptic communities had been attacked and Coptic-owned buildings burned in five incidents in various places in Egypt—notably in Amriya, Alexandria; Koum al-Loufi, Abu –Yacoub, and Ezbet Faragallah in Minya; and Saft al-Kharsa in Beni Sweif; [http://en.wataninet.com/coptic-affairs-coptic-affairs/sectarian/the-copts-painand-bitterness/16916/] throughout the last eight weeks, Father Atahanasius Rizq of 15 May City did not take the matter lightly.

In the case of 15 May City, however, the police swiftly moved to the site of the community service centre and placed it under guard. They moreover headed to the local Ahmed Khalil mosque which was reported by the priest to be the source of the incitement against Copts. Four men were arrested, and the police is currently searching for their leader, an Arabic Language teacher.
Father Athanasius told Watani that the community service centre is a four-storey building built on 250sq.m. of land. It includes a clinic, a nursery, and a home for the aged. The clinic serves Muslims as well as Copts, and Muslim doctors work there with their Coptic counterparts.
Father Athanasius said that the city was relatively new so included no churches. On 22 July 2011, the Copts sent an official request to the Ministry of Housing to allocate piece of land to build a church, but there has been until today no official response. The community centre serves some 350 extended families, and their number is expected to grow as the urban community expands.

Watani International
29 July 2016


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