Bishop General of Minya, Anba Makarius has met the Coptic families from the village of Dimshau Hashim in Minya, whose houses were attacked last week by Muslim extremists. The attack was on account of the Coptic villagers using a small hall in one of the houses for prayer, since the village includes no church. This outraged the Muslim extremists who decided to attack four Coptic homes, leaving two Copts injured by knife wounds in the head and face. The four homes were plundered, gold jewellery stolen, electric utilities smashed, and part of the property set on fire. One fireman was wounded as he attempted to put out the fire. All the injured were moved to Minya Public Hospital.
Minya police had arrested 38 Muslim extremists from the village on account of the attack. Following preliminary investigations, however, 19 were released and 19 are being further investigated on charges of perpetrating unrest and attacking others for allegedly building a church without licence. The village is currently under tight security, which Anba Macarius noted with a message of appreciation and gratitude to the administration and security authorities of Minya, whom he said were striving to recover the rights of Copts.
Following his meeting with Dimshau Hashim Copts, Anba Macarius said that he was pained to listen to their accounts of the attacks on their homes and the looting that took place amid the wails of their terrorised children. He said it was heart aching that they should be subjected to such horror simply because their families exercised their constitutional right of freedom of worship.
Anba Macarius prayed with the families and talked to them with words of comfort,, attempting to alleviate their pain and sense of oppression. He told them that the Christian view requires them to forebear with the persecution they are subjected to on account of their faith, exercising the Christian virtues of forgiveness, tolerance and patience. On the other hand, he said, the national perspective of the attack against the Copts dictates that the State is under the obligation of finding and catching the culprits and bringing them to justice; also of compensating the victims, and rejecting any form of the by-now customary ‘conciliation’ between victim and attacker that jeopardises the rights of the victims.
Anba Macarius explained that he has agreed with the Coptic families of Dimshau Hashim not to accept any financial aid from any party before the government compensates them and returns their usurped rights. He said that letting the culprits get away with their crimes in similar previous incidents have compromised the law and sent extremists a message that they can get away with their crimes without any Anba Macarius receives Copts of Dimshau Hashim
5 September 2018