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Elderly Christian woman stripped naked and paraded through streets by mob

The 300-strong mob of Muslim men in rural Egypt also burned down seven homes belonging to Orthodox Coptic families, over rumours of an affair between a local Christian man and a Muslim woman

coptic-christians-egypt.jpg AP

A 70-year-old Christian woman has been stripped naked, beaten and paraded through the streets by a mob of around 300 Muslim men in a village in southern Egypt.

The mob also burned down seven homes belonging to Christian families, according to an unusually outspoken statement issued by the local Orthodox Coptic church, after rumours circulated in the village that a Christian man was having a relationship with a Muslim woman.

The violence started at around 8pm on 20 May, and the local diocese said it was two hours before police responded, by which point the mob had already dispersed.

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The woman who was stripped naked was reported to be the mother of the man involved in the rumoured affair. She has since met with church leaders, the Diocese of Minya and Abu Qirqas said.

The violence is representative of the tensions between the two religions in the province south of Cairo, where extra-marital affairs between Muslims and Christians are strictly taboo.

But it appears the Coptic church has finally had enough of what they say is unfair treatment from the authorities over such cases. Christians only make up around 10 per cent of Egypt’s population, the majority being Muslim.

And speaking in an uncharacteristically candid TV interview on Wednesday night, Minya’s most senior cleric Anba Makarios said the response if it had been a Muslim man having an affair with a Christian woman “would not have been anything like what happened”.

coptic-christian-woman-egypt.jpg

The elderly woman meets with church leaders to discuss the mob's actions, in this image released by the Diocese of Minay and Abu Qirqas

He said police had been warned the day before of threats towards the Christian family from villagers, yet gave the mob “ample time” to do whatever they wanted.

“No one did anything and the police took no pre-emptive or security measures in anticipation of the attacks,” he said. “We are not living in a jungle or a tribal society. It's incorrect for anyone to declare himself judge, police and ruler.”


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