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.

 

Libya rivals meet for unity deal talks in Morocco

IS 'bulldozed' Iraq’s historic Nimrud

EU’s Mogherini 'Good deal' on Iran nuclear programme is near

Several Qaeda leaders killed in Syria regime attack

Dubai launches first 3D pavement art festival

South Sudan's warring leaders fail to reach deal

Some 28,000 ‘have fled’ Iraq's Tikrit

BP to invest $12 billion in Egypt gas fields

FBI calls for 'vigilance' against IS recruitment online

Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia reach basis of Nile water deal

Jewish tradition could help struggling Gaza farmers

Egypt Interior Minister replaced in cabinet reshuffle

Saudi Arabia urges coalition to fight jihadists 'on ground'

Algeria criminalises violence against women

Sisi replaces interior minister in cabinet reshuffle

Executions set 'unprecedented' pace in Saudi Arabia

Libya declares more than 10 oil fields ‘non-operational’ after IS attacks

Syria exiled opposition chief seeks to unite dissidents

US warns against sectarianism in Tikrit offensive

Thousands of Filipinos remain in Libya despite perilous situation

South Sudan peace talks hit deadlock ahead of deadline

Kerry seeks to allay Gulf states’ fears on Iran

Turkey will not take part in Iraq offensive to retake Mosul

Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Yemen freed

Libya urges UN to lift arms embargo

Mali rebel groups urged to sign peace deal

At least 34 dead in Syria rebel attack on intel HQ

Assad likens himself to Superman

Libya declares force majeure at 11 oil fields

Iran’s regional influence ‘not negiotiable’

Women protest for peace ahead of Israel election

Concerns rise over civilians’ safety in Iraq military operation

UN invites Libya leaders for crisis talks in Algeria

Israel to double water quota to Gaza ‘within days’

Abbas: Palestinians ready to talk with "whoever" wins Israel election

Fire at Cairo convention centre injures 19 people

US, Iran wrap up three days of intense nuclear negotiations

EU reviews policy in response to Ukraine, Arab Spring

IAEA delegation to hold talks in Tehran on March 9

Tunisia rescues 86 African migrants at sea

Saudi executing at 'unprecedented' pace

Turkish Airlines plane skids off Nepal runway

British former marine 'killed' in Syria

Iran slams boring Netanyahu's continuous lie-spreading in US speech

'Saudi prince' New York apartment on sale for $48.5m