Following the Muslim Friday noon prayers today, scores of hardline Muslims at al-Our Village in Samalout, Minya, held demonstrations that marched through the village to protest the building of a new church. Al-Our is the home village of 13 out of the 20 Copts who were beheaded by IS in Libya last February.
The government had proposed to build a church in al-Our to commemorate the village’s martyrs. A Coptic businessman recently bought a piece of land on which to build the church, and the Samalout Bishoprc was in the process of legalising its ownership of the land. At the same time, the architectural drawings for the new church were being prepared in order to get approval from the building authorities.
Eye-witnesses in the village told Watani that the protestors chanted: “By all means, no church will be built here”. They said that moderate Muslims and village elders succeeded in persuading the young fanatic demonstrators from attacking the home of Samuel Alham whose family had been among those beheaded. The demonstrators had already been pelting the house with stones.
The police finally controlled the situation in al-Our and peace reigned.
27 March 2015