Another attack on freedom of belief and worship of Christians after the ascent of the Islamists to power
Copts in Basra village in Alexandria, Egypt fear for their Freedom to worship deepens after a new attack last Friday by Muslims Salafis who surrounded “Saint Wanas Church” during the prayer headed by Father Sawiris the priest of the Church demanding the immediate expulsion of the Copts visiting the Church even before the completion of the prayer.
Muslims threatened to burn the Church if the Priest did not respond to their demands to expel the visitors immediately and to prevent any outside trips to the Church.
The Priest of the Church called the Police Department whose reply to the Priest was: “Solve the problem and prevent any outside visitors to come to the Church!!!”
Based on that phone call the Priest did not find any way out except to respond to the Muslims militants demand ’ demands where he immediately expelled the visitors from the Church in the middle of the prayer. During the exit of worshipers on their way to the bus Muslims throw the exiting worshipers and the bus with stones while leaving the village.
Following the departure of the visitors of the Church, a Moslem Salafist delegation went to meet the Priest and ordered him not to receive any further visits to the church or else they will burn the Church!!
Given the circumstances Egypt is passing, Copts of the village did not find any other ways except to comply with these restrictions made to their liberty, imposed by these Moslem Salafists and extremists. In addition, they expressed their fear of the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood and their increasing grip of State institutions which will exercise increasing restrictions to Christians and will limit their freedom of worship.
As a result of this crisis, Coptic activists in Cairo made an initiative by organizing a trip to the crisis village next Friday and invited some members of the dissolved parliament and journalists to travel to the village next Friday to resolve the crisis under the slogan "I am going to visit the house of our Lord and have lunch with my Muslim brothers there."
Mamdouh NakhlaChairman of the Board of Trustees
Alkalema Centre for Human Rights