International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that at least seven people and two homes were attacked in the latest incidence of violence against Christians in Upper Egypt.
What, in a normal setting, would have been a conflict between school children, escalated to an attack by a large crowd of Muslims on Christians, who are increasingly frustrated with the lack of protection from security officials.
According to ICC’s sources, a Muslim student in grade 8 had been regularly bullying a Christian student, Amgad Emad Zikry. Last week, Amgad’s cousin, Youssef Talaat Ayad, decided to stand up for Amgad, sparking a wave of violence that swept their village in Samalout, Minya.
On Monday 5th October, at the end of the school day, a group of around 200 men attacked the home of Youssef’s father. According to Father Istaphanos Shehata, a priest of the Virgin Mary Church in te area, the men attacked the village Stationary and Grocery store, run by Youssef’s father, Talaat. They looted the store and caused major destruction and broke Talaat’s hand.
The mob then broke into the family house and attacked Youssef and his older brother, Ishak, leaving them wounded with several bruises. Talaat’s wife, Sameeha, was also injured with a cut to the head, which later needed five stitches.
The crowd then headed to Amgad’s home. Amgad was not there, but his mother and two others were injured, including his cousin Emad, who was left with a fractured skull and leg as a result of the attacks.
Father Sarophim, told ICC: “After the victims arrived at the hospital, the police and someone from the District Attorney’s office came to take their statements as a standard procedure, but no arrest warrant was issued, even though the criminals are known to everybody. As usual the police dealt with the situation with apathy.”
This is at least the third incident of attacks on Christians in villages in Samalout in the past month.
- Pray for Christians living in Upper Egypt, as they face increasing violence and persecution, and some have been forced to leave their homes and villages. Pray for them to remain strong and trust in the God who loves them dearly.
- Pray for the government and authorities to protect Egyptian Christians, and act with justice and integrity in supporting them.
- Pray for Christians across Egypt to grow in faith, unity and not to grow weary.
- Pray that many in Egypt will come to know Christ, His saving grace and love.
Isaiah 42 vs 2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”