A church in Minya, Egypt cancelled Sunday mass for the first time in 1,600 years. Other churches were forced to cancel prayer services as well due to violence against the country’s Christian population. From The Times of Israel:
“We did not hold prayers in the monastery on Sunday for the first time in 1,600 years,” Priest Selwanes Lotfy of the Virgin Mary and Priest Ibram Monastery in Degla, just south of Minya, told al-Masry al-Youm, according to Egypt Independent.
He said supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi destroyed the monastery, which includes three churches, one of which is an archaeological site. “One of the extremists wrote on the monastery’s wall, ‘donate [this] to the martyrs’ mosque,'” Lotfy added.
Coptic Christians only make up 10% of Egypt’s population, but violence against them escalated after the 2011 Arab Spring. Additionally, pro-Morsi rioters have attacked businesses, homes, and almost 58 churches since the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from power.
Last week, three nuns were marched through the streets and a Christian taxi driver was murdered when he drove through a Muslim protest. Another was shot to death in Sohag.
The Coptic Christians will not back down. They said they will continue to support the military and police against terrorism.