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.

 

Future of Algeria on wheelchair

Experts: Washington demanded removal of Saudi spy chief

Syria presidential candidates to begin registering soon

Kuwait MP: No citizenship is punishable by isolation

Syria world’s most perilous country fro journalists

US releases $450 million Iranian frozen assets

An extraordinary meeting: Gulf ministers agree to end tension with Qatar

For Massacre-scarred Algeria village, peace is worth more than wealth

An act of heroism: Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to shield army recruits

UK ‘determined to catch’ killer of Libya embassy policewoman

Palestinians rally for solidarity with Israel-held prisoners

Turkey may clinch bid to dismantle Italy’s wrecked ship

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to hold meeting with US envoy

UN ‘gravely concerned’ about South Sudan oil state fighting

South Sudan war: Child soldiers consumed by desire for retribution

Algerians casting their vote for president

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

Egypt leftist leader urges all revolutionary groups to unite

Jordan ‘destroyed’ combat vehicles entering from Syria

South Sudan army loses key oil town of Bentiu

Lebanon parliament soon to elect new president

Zarif to discuss Caspion Sea states in Russia

MERS spreading in Saudi Arabia

Algeria finally opens its piggybank to lure back exiled youth

Suicide bombs rock Ramadi government compound

Three Palestinians killed in Gaza blast

Peace talks delayed after Palestine blamed for fatal shooting

Palestinians clash with Israeli police in Al-Aqsa

Undercover New York police unit that spied on Muslims disbanded

Washington will not issue visa for Iran UN envoy

British paedophile gets 20-year sentence in Morocco

Syria army fights its way into besieged Homs

Invisible Bouteflika urges Algerians to vote

Saudi Arabia replaces powerful intelligence chief

Benflis mobilizes ‘army’ to monitor Algeria election

Syria army advances on rebel-held neighbourhoods in Homs

Egypt court bans any Brotherhood candidacies in upcoming elections

Turkey rights groups sound alarm at plan to build gay-only prisons

Kuwait coup plot video ‘neither genuine nor reliable’

Iraq Kurdistan digs trench to prevent militant infiltration from Syria

Saudi urges stern world action against Syria

Zarif mission to mend Iran-Gulf ties begins in UAE

Results of Egypt vote appear before time in collection of signatures

South Sudan rebels demand firms end oil production

Jordan court sentences Syrian smugglers to five years in prison