Over 60 churches across Egypt have been targeted by Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers as conflict rages across the country. Nonetheless, Coptic Christians are now returning to their church in Minya, which was burned by raging Islamists. “This will learn us to be better Christians” said Pastor Sameh Ibrahim. Fourteen churches in the area were burned in the past few days. In Minya, Christian churches have been slathered with black Xs to mark them for violence by Islamists.
“We live in our church, so when someone attacks our congregation, it’s as if our house is being attacked,” said Pastor John Amin of the Meni Mazar church. “Our children are afraid.”
This is part of a broader plan to stir up Islamist sentiment in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Abul Ezz el-Hariri, a Christian former presidential candidate. Members of the Christian community are largely backing the military interim government in their attempts to quash Muslim Brotherhood violence, including the Egyptian Christian leader Pope Tawadros II, who said, “The Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt…confirms its strong stance with the Egyptian law enforcement, the armed forces, and all of the institutions of the Egyptian people in its confrontation of the violent armed organizations.”