Fearing a repeat of the recent riots against the Coptic Church in Alexandria, Egypt, which left four dead, more than 80 wounded and seven churches defaced, leaders of the Coptic church in the United States are calling on the U.S. government and the United Nations to take immediate action to stop the bloodshed and destruction of churches.
Exclusive video footage released by the International Christian Union and American Coptic Association, or ICU/ACA, yesterday reveals the destruction of the Assemblies of God Church for Evangelical Copts in Moharam Bek on Friday, Oct. 21.
An e-mail report from Dr. Monir Dawoud, president of the ICU/ACA, obtained by ANS says: “We are receiving numerous reports that extremist Muslim groups are planning to surround the Alexandria churches again on Friday, Oct.28, and at the end of Ramadan on the following Tuesday, promising the death of Christians and the continued destruction of churches throughout Egypt.”
Dawoud faults the security forces for encouraging violence by first “giving the green light to the mob,” and then failing to control the resulting riots.
“If the momentum of the riots is allowed to continue, the crowds will be impossible to contain,” Dawoud said.
More than 5,000 Muslims demonstrated outside of the Alexandria Coptic Orthodox Church last Friday to protest the production of a drama staged at the church two years ago. The protesters said the play blasphemes Islam. According to recent statements by the Coptic Church, however, the play does not defame Islam.
“Copts and other minorities in Egypt are continually subjected to physical and verbal harassment by extremist Muslim groups. Yet we do not destroy their houses of worship or call for bloodshed,” said Amgad Zakhari, one of the youth leaders with the ICU/ACA.
In addition to the protests, the Egyptian newspaper El Fagr published threats made by Muslim radicals against the Coptic Pope Shenouda III.
According to the report, Muslim radicals publicly announced their threats through mosques in the outskirts of the city of Alexandria and were calling for the death of Pope Shenouda in revenge for an alleged insult to Islam’s prophet.
The ICU and the ACA are planning a demonstration in front of the U.N. next week to protest the persecution of Christians in Egypt.
Sign up for a free subscription to The Voice of the Martyrs’ newsletter to keep abreast of Christian persecution around the globe. You can also order by phone: 888-843-1054.