An Egyptian Christian who has witnessed the revenge attacks by the Muslim Brotherhood in his nation this week said that while domestic media have reported casualty counts they largely have ignored the personal suffering of Christians.
Attacks on Christians have taken place since Wednesday in Fayoum, Bani Suwief, Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Giza and Cairo in response to the military’s violent evacuation of two Muslim Brotherhood demonstration camps, which killed more than 600, noted the Christian, who asked to be identified only as “Joseph.”
The demonstrators are demanding the return to power of Mohamed Morsi, the ousted Muslim Brotherhood-backed president.
Joseph said a long list has circulated through social media of churches, monasteries, Christian schools, bookshops, shops, pharmacies and houses of Christians that have been attacked, looted and destroyed by Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
He said half of Egypt’s 28 states have been put under a curfew because of Muslim Brotherhood-instigated violence.
“Fanatic Muslim supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, armed with all sorts of weapons from machine guns to Molotov bottles have [been] found attacking the peaceful Christians and burning down their churches, shops and houses,” Joseph said. “It’s an easy way not only to show their [power], but also to punish multitudes of Christians for standing against the policies of former president Morsi and his fallen regime.”
When he was elected a year ago, Morsi immediately moved to curb freedoms, especially for non-Muslims. He was ousted July 3 by the Egyptian military.
The violence in the Egyptian city of Minya this week has been especially severe.
“In Minya, groups of armed Muslim Brotherhood supporters landed into a village street and spent the entire evening setting up fire in one Christian shop and house after the other until they were done,” Joseph said. “No police or army forces were present; no one was there to offer help or provide protection.
Joseph told WND that a friend in Minya said that in one village, the Muslim Brotherhood has openly warned Christian women not to walk in the streets.
Any caught in the streets would be killed, the friend said.
Some veiled Muslim women are helping the Christian women with everyday activities, such as buying groceries, Joseph said.
“In one company, Muslim women colleagues had to bring in some veils to cover up their Christian friends to smuggle them back home,” he said.
Joseph said some Christian men have lost their lives defending their churches.
“In another village as a Christian man was defending his church, he was killed by the attackers. I can’t express in words how he was killed in cold blood and what was done with his body afterwards,” Joseph said. “In another village, attackers managed to break down the crosses of the church and feasted with their mates on the act of setting them on fire.”
A second Christian man, who asked to remain anonymous, told WND of his experience in his home neighborhood.
“I tried hard to hate them. They are, at the end, burning my entire country down with ignorant and brainwashed minds,” he said. “But, I found myself moved by a divine power to go into the shop owned by a Muslim Brotherhood man, located at my building.
“I bought several boxes of water bottles, and falling in tears as I moved from one man to another, one woman to another, handing out free bottles of water to everyone who came in my way,” he said. “They are people who need the love of Christ after all.”
Cairo-based Egyptian human rights activist Wagih Yacoub confirms the severity of the reports. He said the number of churches burned in the past two days is alarming.
He voiced his displeasure with President Obama’s message on human rights.
“And yet, Obama comes out with a statement talking about human rights and rejecting the emergency law. Who is Obama to tell Egypt what to do about our state of emergency?” Yacoub said.
“The situation with the Copts is severe. The Copts are suffering, and we reject the policies of the Obama administration for supporting the terrorists in the Muslim Brotherhood,” Yacoub said.
Yacoub’s estimated numbers align with a Morningstar News report of 27 burned churches and two Coptic Christian casualties.
The two gunshot victims follow the gunshot death of a 10-year-old Coptic Christian girl who was walking home after a Bible class at her local church.