Five Coptic houses were destroyed on Saturday, July 16, in a village in al-Minya province, Upper Egypt, by a violent mob.
The General Bishop of Minya province, High Priest Macarius, published an announcement about the details of the incident saying that a group of extremists attacked the houses of the Copts in the village after a rumor arose about building a church in the village.
Bishop Macarius slammed the rumor as totally false.
The attacks led to the destruction of the houses of Istemalik Yousef Istemalek, Yohana Yousef Istemalek, Abd el-Malak Salib, Ibrahim Khalil and Hayed Wadia Faraj.
By the time the security forces and fire department arrived the houses were already completely destroyed.
The bishopric is calling once again on the Egyptian government to bring the criminals to justice. Every time these riots happen, they say, the criminals escape justice, which encourages others to commit more crimes as long as they are protected.
The bishopric said no one has the right to attack others, either Copts or Muslims, or to kill them or destroy their property whatever their reasons are.
Meanwhile in Nigeria, a mob attacked the St. Philips Catholic Parish church in Niger state.
“Sometime around 2 pm, some Muslim youths in the hundreds left their mosque after their Friday Jumat prayer and rushed to the church premises, climbed the wall and destroyed everything in the church: the windows, the altar, musical instruments, the chapel,” the Rev. (Fr) Luka Sylvester Gopep, the vicar-general of the diocese said according to Naij.com.
“The security man in the church premises was beaten to a pulp. Some women who were holding a prayer meeting were chased away. The seminarian who is a resident in the premises was also beaten up and chased away,” he added.
Nigeria and Egypt have had simmering problems with Christian persecution for some time. In Egypt in mid-June, a mob burned Coptic houses after mistaking the construction of someone’s house for the construction of a church.
At the beginning of June, a pastor’s wife was murdered in the city of Kano, Nigeria, following rumors she had insulted the founder of Islam, Mohammed.
Also in Nigeria, a female assistant pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), forty-two year-old mother of seven Mrs. Eunice Elisha, was brutally murdered on Saturday, July 9, when she went out to preach at 5 am in the capital Abuja.