First Published: 2012-11-07

 

In new provocation, Egypt Islamists occupy church land for prayers

 

Salafists occupy, hold prayers on church land, threaten to burn Coptic shops if they are blocked from praying there on Friday.

 

Middle East Online

Fear of sectarian violence increasing

CAIRO - Egyptian Salafists have occupied and held prayers on church land and threatened to burn Coptic shops if they are blocked from praying there on Friday, a Coptic bishop said.

"A group of Salafists entered land belonging the diocese on Monday at 10:00 pm and stayed till the next day's afternoon prayers. They put up a banner saying 'Abdel Rahman mosque'," Bishop Morcos said on Wednesday.

He said the Salafists, who follow an ultra-conservative tradition of Sunni Islam, threatened to torch Coptic shops if they were prevented from using the land for Friday's weekly Muslim prayers.

Morcos said the church wants to build on the land as soon as the permits are granted, and that a complaint had been filed with police and the state prosecutor.

There was no comment from the interior ministry.

In the meantime, in order to avoid the possibility of clashes, he said he will prevent young Copts from going to the property.

Copts, who make up between six and 10 percent of Egypt's 83 million people, have suffered an increase in attacks since a popular uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, leading to months of insecurity.

Many of the Christians opposed the election in June of President Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist whose Muslim Brotherhood movement wants to gradually turn Egypt into an Islamist state. Morsi himself has assured Copts of equal rights.

 

New UN envoy looks to revive talks as battles intensify across Yemen

Civilian massacre in Syria northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughur

Abbas condemns Israel killing of two young Palestinians in separate incidents

Will Somalia Shebab choose Qaeda or Islamic State?

Closure of key trade route deals harsh blow to Jordan economy

Iraq army announces ‘progress’ in Anbar province

‘Islamic State’ suicide bombers target Iraq-Jordan crossing

Four Egypt Islamists killed while preparing bombs

Extremist groups capture last major regime holdout in northwest Syria

‘Islamic State’ kills Iraq senior officers in Anbar province

Deadly fighting rages in Yemen southern towns

Entrepreneurs encourage people to ‘buy Syrian’

Over 100 children killed in Yemen since March 26

Libya militia alliance 'carries out air raids' against IS

UN 'confident' rebels will sign Mali peace deal

Petraeus gets two years probation for info leak

Iranian ships turn back from Yemen

Palestinians mourn as Jews celebrate

UN chief set to appoint Mauritanian diplomat as Yemen envoy

Obama takes 'full responsibility' for deaths of Qaeda hostages in US operation

Turkey warns Austria over decision to condemn ‘Armenian genocide’

Yemen conflict poses dangers across Gulf of Aden

Hopes for final deal on second day of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna

Security tightened at Saudi shopping malls

US returns stolen Egypt artifacts

EU mulls military action against human traffickers in Libya

Libyan journalist shot dead in Benghazi

Arms experts warn of 'Faustian bargain' with Iran

Fresh Saudi-led air strikes target Yemen rebels

Rebel-IS clashes in Syria kill at least 42 fighters in 24 hours

Who’s more dangerous: Jihadists who left their countries or those staying at home?

France foils 'imminent' attack by jihadist sympathiser

Algeria army kills three armed Islamists west of capital

Israel removes Palestinian teen's name from memorial wall

Egyptian businessman testifies at Al-Jazeera retrial

Kenya asks donors to save world’s largest refugee camp

Sanctions, possible Congress intervention to dominate fresh nuclear talks

Arab army chiefs kick off work on building regional force

One year after agreement, Palestinian reconciliation hits rock bottom

Arab coalition resumes airstrikes against Huthi rebels

UN member states urged to protect Iraqi cultural sites

London mulls ways to help Europe's refugee crisis

Finalising of Iran nuclear deal set to begin

Saudi–led coalition declares end to Yemen air war

Palestine teenager inscribed on Israel memorial wall