Egyptian Authorities Raid Church-Owned Building, Chain Doors to Prevent Christians from Entering

(PHOTO: REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH)
Coptic Christians attend a church service during Holy Easter week in central Cairo, Egypt, April 17, 2014.

Authorities in Egypt reportedly raided a church-owned building that was being used by a local Coptic Christian community for worship and chained down the doors so that Christians could no longer enter the building.

According to a press release shared with The Christian Post by the human rights and religious freedom advocacy group International Christian Concern, the three-story building situated in the village of Saft Al-Kharsa in the Beni Suef governorate was broken into by police officials last Friday.

After police removed furniture, Christian iconography and other items from the building, they closed down the building using chains, an unnamed Christian villager told ICC..

“During the early hours of Friday, June 16, we [Christians] were surprised to find the furniture, rugs, icons, pictures, and worship utensils … had been thrown outside and the building closed down with seals and chains,” the Coptic Christian villager was quoted as saying. “We took the belongings into our homes. We don’t know why the police did that.”

The press release notes that the building had been used by the local Coptic Christian community as a church and a community center. The local Christians have tried to have the building legally recognized as a church since 2016 but have faced backlash from radical Muslims and resistance from the government.

“We were livid at the recent police raid against the building. The behavior by the police was inexplicable,” the church’s priest told ICC. “I demanded the Interior Minister [launch] an urgent investigation into the incident.”

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Samuel Smith

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