‘Consolations are not enough’ says Minya bishop after Sunday sectarian violence

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Bishop Macarius of Minya

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Jul 2016

Sunday’s attack in Minya followed May violence in which Christian houses were set ablaze and a woman was paraded naked through the streets

Anger is mounting amongst Minya’s Copts after two incidents of sectarian violence, Bishop Macarius of Minya said in statements he made to Ahram Arabic website on Tuesday.

“Anger is mounting and authorities are taking steps too late,” the Coptic Bishop warned.

“Consolations are not enough,” he added when commenting on the statement made by Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawky Allam, who called on citizens to practice ‘self-restraint’.

On Sunday, families of two priests in the Tahna El-Jabal village were attacked by assailants wielding knives and batons killing a 27-year-old man and injuring three others, including a woman.

According to eyewitnesses, the attack started as an argument between young Muslim men and Christian children over right of way on the narrow streets of the village. The disputing parties then involved the families of the Christian children, including the son of the local church’s pastor.

In May, Muslim villagers set ablaze seven Christian homes and assaulted a Christian man’s elderly mother, parading her naked in public. The assault in in Minya’s El-Karm village was sparked by rumours that the man was having an illicit relationship with a Muslim woman.

Incidences of sectarian violence have frequently been reported over the past years. Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 90 million, have long complained of discrimination and sectarian attacks in the predominantly Sunni Muslim country.

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