Abu-Fana fencing wall licensed
Minya governor Fouad Saad Eddin has issued a permit for the building of a fencing wall around the fourth century Abu-Fana monastery in Mallawi. The governor’s move came following repeated requests by the monastery throughout the last four years, and was welcomed by the Church. The monastery has been subjected to several barbaric attacks throughout the past three years, the last of which—and upon which Watani International reported in detail in its last issue—occurred three weeks ago.
The State Security Apparatus in Beni-Sweif, 100km south of Cairo, has ordered the restoration work in the church of Mar-Mina and Anba Kyrillos in the village of Wesh al-Bab in Ahnasia, Beni-Sweif, halted. The 48-year-old church, which serves more than 5000 Copts in 20 surrounding villages, is a small building of 25 x 12 metres and is built of old red bricks with a roof of straw and palm fronds.
Father Tobia Bibawi told Watani that the church had been granted a full restoration permit on 16 January 2008, and that work began last weekend. However, last week’s heavy rains as well as work on the sanitary drainage network close to the church led to the collapse of the church wall adjacent to the road. Fr Tobia reported the matter to the police, but the official guard alleged that the church officials intentionally pulled down the wall, and the security authorities ordered restoration work halted. “We now have no place to worship, said Fr Tobia; more than 5000 people are not allowed to pray in church.”