Minya Governor blocks demolition of memorial for Coptic martyrs

13-02-2018 11:34 PM

Nader Shukry

Minya Governor, Essam al-Bedeiwi, intervened to contain a crisis that erupted Monday 12 February in al-Edwa, Minya, some 250km south of Cairo, when al-Edwa town council issued orders to demolish a memorial erected at the spot where 28 Copts had been martyred in a terror attack by Islamists in May 2017. The Copts were shot on their way for pilgrimage to the desert monastery of Anba Samuel al-Muetarrif (St Samuel the Confessor); the attack took place when the vehicles carrying the pilgrims were driving some 12km from the monastery [Full story: http://en.wataninet.com/coptic-affairs-coptic-affairs/sectarian/killed-on-identity/20288/]

The memorial, which was set up by friends of St Samuel’s, constitutes of a plate engraved with the names of the martyrs, centred in a formation of white bricks with a cross at the centre next to the plate.

According to the monk Boulos al-Samueli, al-Edwa city council had removed another memorial set up weeks earlier for the martyrs. “Today [12 February 2018], they attempted to remove this one too,” he told Watani. “But Governor Bedeiwi intervened and ordered a temporary halt to the demolition until he discusses the matter with the town council.

Governor Bedeiwi also promised he would visit St Samuel’s next week when he would look into two requests by the monastery: the first is to allow pilgrimage to the monastery, which was halted for security reasons following the terror attack in May 2017; the second is to allow the monastery to build a church in honour of the martyrs, on the spot of the attack.

Watani International

13 February 2018

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